Hiring A Writing Coach
What Is a Writing Coach?
“I think the most important thing about coaching is that you have to have a sense of confidence about what you're doing. You have to be a salesman, and you have to get your players, particularly your leaders, to believe in what you're trying to accomplish on the basketball floor.”
The answer to that question is in the question itself. A writing coach helps you with your writing. They understand the struggles that accompany a writer, and they are someone who can help you to overcome the challenges that you face.
A good writing coach does not pull punches. They will be honest with you in their appraisals, and they will be encouraging every step of the way.
A good writing coach has been where you are. They get it. They know how hard writing is, and they have some solutions up their sleeve that will get you back on track and writing your best.
Let me share with you what I have experienced.
I have been a member of an online writing site for over two years now. I have many friends on that site, and a large percentage of them say very nice things about my writing. That is very gratifying to hear, but…..
I also have friends and family who read my articles, and they all have very nice things to say about my writing. Again, it is all very gratifying to hear, but….
The “but,” of course, refers to the fact that growth does not come from kind words of praise. For this writer, growth will only come from constructive criticism and meaningful suggestions that will help me reach my true potential as a writer. I need a writing coach to provide those things.
Why You Might Need One
“I think what coaching is all about, is taking players and analyzing their ability, put them in a position where they can excel within the framework of the team winning. And I hope that I've done that in my 33 years as a head coach.”
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you consistently missing your goals?
- Do you need help with grammar, spelling, sentence structure, or story formation?
- Do you need help in developing a strong writing voice?
- Are your characters weak? Is your plot sluggish? Are your settings bland?
- Could you benefit from constructive feedback?
- Do you consistently suffer from writer’s block?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then a writing coach just might be the answer.
What Will a Writing Coach Do for You?
“In the end, it's about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.”
The quick answer to this question is that a writing coach will help you to improve your writing.
The long answer to this question involves what it is, exactly, that you need.
A writing coach can do any of the following:
- Help you to identify your goals as a writer
- Help you to find focus
- Help you to overcome obstacles that you face
- Help you to improve your writing through positive suggestions
- Give you an honest critique of your writing
- Help you to tackle specific aspects of your writing and improve them
What to Look for in a Writing Coach
There are a lot of them out there to choose from, so shop wisely and do your diligent homework before choosing. Consider these points when you are looking for a writing coach:
- How accessible will the coach be? In other words, can you count on them to be available when you need them?
- Are they easy to work with? Exchange emails with the candidates and see if you feel a rapport with them.
- Are they experienced? Quite frankly, in this online world, anyone can declare themselves to be a writing coach. What are their qualifications? Have they been a teacher in the past? Do they have an impressive platform of their own?
- What do they specialize in? Some work mainly on voice? Some on grammar? Find the coach that specializes in what you need.
- Do they have game? Ask to see a sample of their work. There is an old maxim that those who can’t, teach. When hiring a writing coach, you want someone who can actually write.
I'm Here if You Need Me
- Hire Me | William Holland
What can I do for you? If you think you might need some help, then let's discuss it and get you back on the road to writing success.
What Does a Writing Coach Cost?
“My best investment, as cliched as this sounds, is the money I've spent developing myself, via books, workshops and coaching. Leadership begins within, and to have a better career, start by building a better you.”
There is no easy answer to this one. Prices fluctuate wildly in this online world. However, you can expect the price to be within this range:
- A one-time critique consisting of an appraisal of your work and a 250-500 word critique….between $25 and $50.
- A monthly program usually consisting of two hours of online instruction per week, totalling eight hours of one-on-one instruction and follow-up written critiques and suggestions….between $200 and $500.
Do You Need a Writing Coach?
I can’t answer that question. It depends on your needs and your level of frustration.
Are you a good writer? Do you have access to writing peers who will give you an honest appraisal of your work? Do you want to improve? Can you afford to hire a writing guru? All of these questions, and the answers you apply to them, will help you to decide if a writing coach is for you.
I can say without hesitation that a good writing coach, like any good coach in any endeavor, will be invaluable. We need coaches in sports. We need coaches in music, sculpting, and painting. Why wouldn’t we need a coach for writing?
I can also say that an inexperienced writing coach with little expertise will do you more harm than good.
I am not trying to discourage you from hiring a writing coach.
I’m simply saying to choose wisely and be careful.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”