Working With a Writing Coach

Writers' blocks image

There are many benefits to hiring a coach. A coach can help with anything from advancing your career to improving yourself and your life. Like all life coaches, a writing coach can (and often does) help with the following:

  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Building better habits
  • Reducing procrastination
  • Developing discipline
  • Increasing self-motivation
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Creating balance
  • Enhancing communication skills
  • Solving problems better
  • Improving relationships
  • Boosting self-esteem

The list above is not exhaustive. There are many areas of life where a coach can help people make improvements and achieve success. Most coaches specialize in an area such as finance, career, business, health, and writing (to name a few) however all coaches help people refine areas of their life that are not optimal.  Working with a coach is beneficial because you have someone to encourage and celebrate your success, someone to hold you accountable for the things you want to achieve, and someone to help make change more manageable. This post will focus on writing coaching.

What is Writing Coaching?
In addition to all the items listed above, a writing coach works with you in these additional areas:

  • Finding your voice
  • Expressing your authentic self in writing
  • Becoming more confident in your writing
  • Identifying areas of your novel that need more work
  • Improving parts of writing that you struggle with (i.e. plotting, characterization, research, synthesizing information)
  • Managing the emotional highs and lows that come with being a writer
  • Overcoming “writer’s block” or trouble starting, continuing, or ending your story
  • Learning not to edit (or continuing to research) while writing
  • Developing and sticking to a writing schedule

Another benefit of writing coaching is ongoing critique of your work. This alone is worth the cost of coaching!

What happens in Coaching?

  • A coach will ask you questions (often many questions) to understand your goals, assess your motivation, previous successes and failures, determine how much time you have to devote to your objectives, and the things that might be obstacles in order to build a strong vision of what success will look like for you and to work with you to develop a realistic plan to achieve that vision.
  • The plan will be broken down into milestones and steps to complete each milestone, not unlike how projects are planned and managed in business. How it works is that small, realistic and achievable steps are accomplished daily or weekly that will lead to your goal over time. Small steps create less resistance since we have so many demands on our time and energy already.
  • During weekly or, perhaps, twice monthly phone calls you and your coach will discuss the progress that was made and any problems that occurred and work through them. Adjustments to the scope, time or resources needed to reach goal can be made to the plan as necessary. A coach will work with you to make sure you succeed this time and that could involve tackling some of the bullet points at the beginning of this post such as problem solving, time management, discipline or creating balance. In addition to working with you, a coach will hold you accountable to achieve your goals, will celebrate your success, and help you turn struggles into new strengths.

What should you look for in a coach?

  • Someone who has experience in one or more of these areas: writing, editing, and publishing (traditional or self-publishing). This might be a published author, professional writers such as ghostwriters and technical writers, a writing professor, editor, publisher, publicist, and possibly a literary agent (depending on your needs).
  • A certified professional coach.  Certified coaches have completed training approved by the International Coaching Federation. This training is important because writers do not write disconnected from other aspects of life. We need to create a balance between our writing and everything else. We need to learn to manage all aspects of our life to be sure that we not only have time and energy for writing but for everything else in life as well. If we can create and maintain good health and work-life balance, we can bring our best selves to the writing table. What could be better?
  • Someone who is a good fit. Life/Writing Coaches are people too and our individual styles probably won’t work for everyone. Most coaches offer a complimentary session. Take advantage of this to meet a coach, discuss your needs, and discover how a coach can help you bring out your best writing. Present a challenge you are experiencing and ask the coach how they would work with you on that.

What does Coaching Cost?
Coaching rates vary greatly depending on the type of coaching, the experience of the coach, and length of sessions. You can expect to pay between $75 and $200 per hour. Executive coaches charge more. Some coaches offer discounts for committing to a certain number of sessions and full payment in advance.

It may take some time and effort on your part to find the right coach, but it will be worth it. You can achieve your goals and improve your life overall. Why not give it a try? With a complimentary session on offer, what do you have to lose? Contact me today to schedule!

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