What is a Writing Coach? [And How to Find One]
Do you want to write a book but don't know where to start?
We all need help at some point or another in our life. When it comes to writing, there is a special breed of people who can guide you through the process and make your writing the best it can be. These people are called writing coaches, and this article discusses what they are, how to decide if you need one, and how to find one.
First, writing coaches are not editors (though they can be both). Editors point out grammatical errors and typos, but they don't help you improve the overall quality of your writing. On the other hand, a writing coach helps you with the structure of your writing and anything else that pertains to the quality of your writing.
Put simply, a writing coach is a professional who helps writers improve their writing skills. A writing coach can help you with any aspect of writing, from brainstorming ideas to editing and polishing your work.
If you're not sure whether or not you need a writing coach, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I struggle with getting started on writing projects?
- Do I have trouble staying focused when I write?
- Do I feel like my writing could be better, but I'm not sure how to make it better?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then a writing coach could be helpful for you. A writing coach can help you overcome writing challenges to produce your best work. Moreover, a writing coach can also help you develop your ideas by providing an outsider's point of view.
What Does a Writing Coach Do?
While most writing coaches work with you one-on-one, some offer group programs where you'll learn from other people's journeys as well. But regardless of whether you choose to work with a coach one-on-one or in a group, you should expect the following from your writing coach:
- assess your writing skills and help you improve them by critiquing your work
- craft a writing strategy by looking at your schedule and your goals
- keep you accountable for your goals by providing continued communication
Your writing coach may also offer editing and publishing services as we do at Trivium Writing, but these services are not the same as writing coaching. If you find a writing coach who is also a good editor, it's worth having them polish your work because they are already familiar with your work.
What is the main difference between writing coaching and editing? Writing coaching is done with you, and editing is done for you. While not every writer needs to work with a writing coach on every project, every writer should work with an editor one hundred percent of the time.
Put otherwise, writing coaching prepares the writer for writing, while editing prepares the text for publication. Even the world's best writers need thorough editing. Without it, it is almost guaranteed the text will have some mistakes, typos, or inconsistencies.
How to Find a Writing Coach
If you're ready to find a writing coach, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Look for someone knowledgeable about the type of writing you do. If you write fiction, find a coach who specializes in fiction writing. If you write nonfiction, find a coach who focuses on nonfiction.
- Make sure that the coach you choose is someone you feel comfortable working with. You should be able to communicate openly and honestly with your coach so that they can help you meet your writing goals.
If you're unsure where to start looking for a writing coach, try asking your friends or colleagues if they know anyone who could help you. You can also search online for writing coaches in your area (though you can work with your writing coach remotely). Social media are a great place to start.
Once you've found a few potential coaches, set up a consultation so that you can get to know them and see if they're a good fit for you. The initial conversation allows you to discover the coach's process and ask about their past successes. This way, you can determine if you'd like to work with them.
What is a Professional Writing Coach (Which Credentials Do They Have?)
While credentials impact a writing coach's ability to produce results, they're not everything. A writing coach with fewer credentials can produce better results for clients and be a better fit for you. Their track record is what matters.
In your search for a writing coach, you should look for someone who:
- is experienced coaching writers. Look at their past clients and the work they have produced. Ask to see testimonials from past clients to assess whether they're the right coach for you.
- knowledgeable about the type of writing you do. If you write fiction, find a coach who specializes in fiction writing
- is certified by a reputable organization (this could be a university, a coaching institute, or another reputable program)
- makes you feel comfortable and communicates openly and honestly.
If you keep these things in mind, you will be well on your way to finding a writing coach who can help you improve your writing skills. Also, keep in mind that you should ideally hire someone who is part of your target audience. For example, if you are writing a business book, it's best to hire a coach who enjoys business books.
Why Hire a Writing Coach?
There are many benefits to hiring a writing coach. Writing is no easy task, and honing your skills and process can be long and difficult if you do it alone. A writing coach can help you:
- Develop and improve your writing skills
- Stay focused and motivated
- Overcome writing challenges
- Produce your best work
Trivium Writing offers quality writing coaching as well as professional editing service for nonfiction authors. To learn more about our services and track record, book a free call.