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Is a Writing Coach Right for You?

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Is a Writing Coach Right for You?

By Robin Noelle

Many professionals find themselves responsible for writing projects, be it the company newsletter, a blog, proposals or reports. If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a blank screen, wondering where to begin or kept putting off an important writing project, read on and see if hiring a writing coach could benefit you and your career.

Who Benefits from a Writing Coach?

Hiring a writing coach isn’t the right solution for everyone. If you actually hate writing, you’d be better off hiring a freelance writer or a consultant. Good candidates for working with a writing coach might include a doctor or therapist who wants to write a book to establish additional credibility in their field; a professional speaker who wants to create articles for a trade magazine to secure more speaking engagements; a small business owner who wants to create their own sales and marketing materials; or an office manager who finds herself in charge of the company newsletter or press materials. If you are unsure of how to begin a writing project, you feel stuck or suffer from writer’s block, or you simply need some extra accountability or motivation, a writing coach can help. A good writing coach will help you get started, stay focused, create a stronger project, and progress faster than you can on your own.

Coach or Consultant: What’s the Difference?

Like writing coaches, consultants typically work with more than one client, but they have very different approaches. A consultant focuses on deliverable results, which are often their responsibility. A coach, however, empowers you to achieve your own results. Because a consultant typically has a goal or target, their work will often be focused on the short term, while a coach will help you gain momentum on your writing goals from week to week. There are many other differences, of course. If you’re unsure which would work better for you, interview one or more of each to determine which approach is more appealing to you.

So What Does a Writing Coach Do?

A good writing coach will make all the difference when it comes to achieving your goals quickly and efficiently. The coaching process usually begins with clarifying your vision for your specific writing project. A coach can help you organize your thoughts and material and then create an actionable plan to achieve and recognize results. Once the writing process begins, a coach can offer motivation, accountability, inspiration and fresh eyes for valuable feedback. A writing coach can also offer support when you get stuck, knowledge of the publishing process, and objectivity. Think of a writing coach as a personal trainer for your writing – part cheerleader, part accountability buddy and part professional expert.

How to Hire a Writing Coach

You can always ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations, but a search engine may be the easiest way to find quick results. However you find one, it is vital to investigate a potential coach’s credentials. If you’re writing a non-fiction book, there’s no use in hiring a coach who has only written magazine articles or fiction. Then interview your final choices to find out whose approach works best for your personal style. Writing coaches are as unique and individual as writers themselves. Finally, be sure to ask about their rates and what you receive for the cost. Most writing coaches charge fees in line with any professional consultant.

So, if you find yourself unable to begin or finish a big writing project or just want to take your writing skills to the next level, a writing coach can be the partner you need.

Robin Noelle is a professional author, writer and writing coach located in Sonoma County, California. You can find more information about writing coaches at www.NorthBayWritingCoach.com.