“Should I find a writing coach? Do I need a coach?”
It depends. Are you stuck on your thesis? Do you struggle with structuring your book? Do your thoughts lack clarity or depth?
If you’re struggling in your writing journey—and haven’t found the answers online or in a class—consider investing in a coach. An effective coaching experience will help you make progress wherever you’re struggling. And, hopefully, propel your journey forward so that you can find an agent or land a book deal or publish your piece.
In this blog post, we share insights into why you should find a writing coach.
What Is a Writing Coach?
A coach is a person who is involved in the direction, instruction, or training of a team or individuals. Coaches offer customized learning experiences that are tailored towards the needs of the individual they are working with.
The key word is “tailored.” A tailored experience helps you make progress on your specific writing goals. A coach builds on your strengths, yes. But they also are hyper-focused on helping you improve in specific areas of weakness.
While an effective writing coach has an editorial background, they are NOT your editor. Coaching demands you do the work. You do the writing. And to be honest, not all coaches make great editors.
Some coaches offer more editorial direction than others as part of the coaching experience. But a pure line edit or copyedit? You would need to ask in advance if they will provide that also. You’ll likely have to pay an extra cost.
What Do Writing Coaches Help With?
We already established that a writing coach is focused on helping you achieve your writing goals. But they can’t steer you toward success if you’re not specific in what you want.
Writing coaches can help with a variety of things: your target audience, sharpening your idea, improving your structure, setting daily or weekly writing goals, strategies to help deal with writer’s block, developing your book’s positioning, how to develop a platform, how to promote your book, and more.
What do you specifically need help with that?
The more specific your goals, the better the coaching experience will be.
A coach will also help you deal with your self-doubts. They will remind you why you’re writing the book and what your strengths are. While a coach should be realistic and offer you advice rather than constant compliments, they should also be your supporter.
An effective coach tells you what needs improvement while also celebrating your accomplishments when you make progress. Maybe you hired a coach to help you refine your thesis, for instance. An effective coach will acknowledge the elemental good thinking about your idea development but push you for more specificity and nuance. They’ll ask tough questions, forcing you to consider angles you wouldn’t ask on your own.
What Can You Expect from a Coach?
Once you answer the questions, “What do I want to accomplish?” And, “What are my expectations from my coach?” share your answers with your potential coach. Then ask your coach about their process to help you achieve your goals. Each coach has different methods; it’s important to make sure those methods fit your expectations and personality. This is an investment of resources. Make sure you choose wisely.
In fact, it’s possible that the first coach you meet won’t be the right fit. That’s okay! You are paying for a coach who will help you accomplish your goals. So be picky. Vet your coaches. Set clear expectations. And, together, create a timeline for your goals.
Once you find a writing coach, they will break down your big goals into manageable chunks. They will ask you questions that will sharpen your thinking. Or force you to think more deeply about your content. And over time, often in small steps, they will help you make progress.
Remember: a coach is only temporary. Find the help you need, receive the tailored advice, and then move on!
Here’s a Glance at the Episode
[2:08] Melissa and Dave explain what a writing coach is.
[8:18] Learn more about what you can expect from a coach.
[14:37] Melissa and Dave discuss the specific things writing coaches help with.
[28:20] Learn about the differences between one-on-one coaching and group coaching.
[30:38] Learn more about what happens when coaching doesn’t work out.
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