by Nomsa Chirisa
Writing may be not as flawless for first time writers or first drafts.Most writers often get stuck on their first draft, if not their first chapter. I recall one poem I wrote for a school club day function. Funny enough, I never realised how much the 6-line poem exposed my sleeping on the job, even for my age, until I recited it on stage and left the audience in the middle of nowhere. Although at that time I was too young to write anything lengthy, I still sit and wonder how the poem could have been had I had a cheerleader.
For your first book or for a specific book project, or for any other reason, you may need a writing coach. Just like with celebrities, high-profile and high-class individuals, a coach is tasked with the success of your writing project. One author said “What you say does not matter. What matters is what you put down in writing.” Your first book can make or break your writing career. And because first impressions last longer, you would want them to be that.
What is a writing coach?
A writing coach has many roles which also describe who they are. Simply put, a writing coach is a professional and personal guide who helps a writer throughout their writing journey before their copy is handed over to the publisher. They are also called a book coach or book Sherpa. They are like the quality control button for a product.
The writing coach’s main goal for your book is the same as yours – producing a competitive copy. In essence, they are your other version but with the knowledge and support you need to write effectively and successfully.
Here are some of the things a writing coach will do for you:
- pointing the direction which your story should take
- guiding your writing so that it is effective and successful
- emotionally supporting you to overcome your fears or writer’s block
- mentoring you as you go through the writing process
Do I need a writing coach?
It is prudent to know whether or not you need a writing coach, or the reason you are hiring one. A writing coach is focused on you as a writer, as you write your copy. While they help improve the quality of your copy, their role is limited to impacting and guiding the writer in their writing journey.
You need a writing coach if you are:
- a first time writer
- caught in between a writer’s block and the need to get published
- failing to match the depth of your content with the strength of your idea
- stuck on the first draft, chapter, or anywhere else
- abandoning your book for whatever reason
Amazing benefits of working with a writing coach
Working with a writing coach has enormous benefits. It’s just like with a personal fitness trainer or coach. They do not necessarily lift the weights or run on the treadmill for you, but they help you to achieve great results within realistic and specified time frames.
Further is the value they bring to your work. A writing coach will ensure that your work is well written for the editor and this will help you save costs. In our article, how do editors cost their services, we mentioned the quality of a piece of writing as a cost factor in publishing. It’s common for writers to be satisfied with their own work. I usually am, until I send it to an editor to review or edit it. The amount of suggestions for improvement are surprising. But this is costly. However, when you work with a writing coach, you are guaranteed of better quality content which will cut you a great deal of editorial costs.
How do I identify a writing coach?
Thinking of finding a writing coach?
You are on the path to an easier writing journey. And picking one for your book project should not be difficult.
Identifying a writing coach is as simple as identifying an editor for your book. But you need to know the kind of content you want to write first. That will help you know where to start looking from.
Experts in the same niche as yours make good writing coaches. They may also be published authors. They have been where you are several times, so they know what makes writers tick. However, identifying a writing coach may require you to look beyond just the writing skill. This set of personalities can help you identify a writing coach.
Your perfect writing coach should be:
- good listeners
This list is inexhaustible.
You writing coach is essentially the dynamite that helps improve your writing weaknesses.
When writing gets tough, a writing coach easily makes it a piece of cake. We all need that push, guidance and support to drive us to write successfully and effortlessly. It’s the nature of most writers to not feel safe trusting another person with their work. But, just like with your publisher or editor, a writing coach is your manual. When you feel you’ve hit a pothole or brick wall with your writing, they are there to get you on your smooth path to a great copy. After all, a great copy is a product of pushing through the hurdles and getting better at writing it. And with a writing coach, don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all. Find the perfect fit! Then you will agree that they are an incredible value.
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