What Is a Writing Coach?

What is a writing coach?

A professional writing coach offers you and your writing project dedicated, effective, one-on-one attention. To do so, we coaches wear a lot of hats: editor, cheerleader, beta reader, and accountability partner, among them.

In addition, your coach will provide you with helpful resources. These might include book recommendations, links to relevant podcasts, or information about agents, editors, and publishers.

Many writing coaches, me included, work with writers on all sorts of book and non-book projects. For example I can function as your

But what if you’re not writing a book? You might be looking for a coach to help you develop your blog or improve your business writing game. Or maybe you simply need help finding time to write at all when you’re juggling so many other demands.

I can help you tackle any of these situations—and more!

A writing coach is a trusted reader.

Of course, your coach will regularly read and respond to your writing. In an interview with Tia Levings on THE WORKING WRITER PODCAST, Jamie Morris Writing CoachI said, Offering quality feedback is a big part of my job. Good writing doesn’t happen in an echo chamber.

You know how it is–-you work hard on a piece and feel like it’s done, until that edge of doubt creeps in. “Is it really any good?” “Am I missing something?” “Who can I ask to read it?”

Does this sound familiar? Could you benefit from an excellent reader to show you how to improve what you’re sending out into the world? If so, you’re in the right place!

Basically, a writing coach is your smart, capable writing friend. They’ve traveled this road before and know how to help you get you to where want to be. They can respond to your writing with enthusiasm for what’s working and skillful strategies to help you fix what’s not. If you need support in finding a writing coach, check out this article on how to find a writing coach.

Like Mary Poppins, a professional writing coach arrives with the skills, empathy, and experience that will help you make the most of your creative gift.

Whatever your writing needs, I can help.

I’m an expert writing coach. I coach writers at all levels of experience, in all genres. Take a look at my rates page or book a free initial consultation to see how we might work together

What is a great writing coach?

I’ve been coaching writers for well over a decade and have developed solid strategies along the way—but I was curious: What do writers say makes a great writing coach or book coach?

Tom Wallace, editor, ghostwriter: Contrary to what many new writers believe, the craft of writing is less an inborn talent than a collection of skills to be learned. Great coaches help writers apply the skills needed to make their stories work. Hiring a coach can transform a writer’s creative journey and pay off for years to come.

Teri Saveliff, author of SIGNATURES: A good coach will tell you the truth. A great coach will tell you the truth in a way that encourages you to jump in and make the changes that will benefit your story—even, or especially, if these are big changes.

Tam Cillo, Communications at Club CarWe all have our writing strengths and weaknesses. A great writing coach celebrates the former and helps improve the latter—and she creates an atmosphere of acceptance. When she reviews my writing, she is listening for my voice, my personality. This means she sees what’s possible in even the roughest pieces. And when I get stuck, she’s a motivator who helps me move the roadblocks and continue on the way toward my success. 

MK Swanson, writer: A great coach is …

  1. A best friend for delivering truth gently.
  2. A concierge on whose efficiency you can depend.
  3. A masseuse with whom your creative muscles relax.
  4. A trail guide to lead you past the brink of madness.
  5. A magic hat from which to pull rabbits.

Peg Loves, writer: She’s an incubator for ideas. She’s an advocate—a champion of the work and ally to my goals. But I believe part of what makes a writing coach great is the writer. Are you open-minded? Are you clear on your goals? Are you ready to deep-dive into the work?

Scott Dobbins, futurist: A great writing coach knows when to push you and how to pull it out of you. They are both your cheerleader and your challenger, your accountability partner and your friend.

Reverend Rebecca M. Bryan, minister at First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist:  A great coach is someone whom you trust implicitly. She always tells the truth and holds the success of your work as paramount importance. Her critique and redirection always nudge you to the next right step in your writing, while her encouragement is ever-present.

Ryan G. Van Cleave, author, Head of Creative Writing, Ringling College of Art and Design: The best writing coaches aren’t just editors—they’re guides to the wider world of reading, writing, and publishing. A great writing coach will offer insider-industry advice to create a pathway to the future you want in the world of writing.

Hanna Kjeldbjerg, creative director at Beaver’s Pond Press: Authors need writing coaches for accountability, organization, and an objective eye. But more than that, writers need a partner who understands their vision for their book, who feels like a friend. That makes a great writing coach.

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