All posts by Gerald Pena

Why you should hire a writing coach

What is a writing coach? (14 reasons why you should hire one)

Writing a book is an investment. A lot of time, money, and effort need to be spent to finish a manuscript and get it published. When it comes to making decisions and planning a writing roadmap, how can authors new to writing ensure their success? This is where writing coaches come into play.  A writing coach is a professional who can assist in the overall book writing process. For a newcomer in the publishing world, there are a lot of uncharted territories that need to be explored and for this reason, it is advantageous to hire a writing coach.

What are the roles of a writing coach?

To better understand the reasons for hiring a writing coach, it is best to learn what roles they would take in helping you get through the writing process.  

Understand why you are writing a book

You have a book idea, and you decided to write it. That is a good starting point for any author. At the same time, one question most new writers forget to ask themselves is why they want to write a book in the first place. We make decisions based on our goals.  Without clear goals, it is difficult to make informed decisions. This is why you should understand why you want to write a book in the first place. 

Identify your target audience

Knowing what you want to write about is one thing. Knowing who you are writing for is another. A book is a product. Just like every product, it should have its target market. Your target market, your book’s audience, is the group of people who you intend to help or entertain with your book. This is the group that will most likely follow your book’s call to action. A writing coach has extensive knowledge of various types of audiences and can help you identify who you should write for based on your goals and your reasons for writing.

Achieve the right mindset

Writing is much more complicated than sitting down and typing what is on your mind. You may have a lot of ideas brewing in your mind, and rich experiences that you want to share, but putting them down on paper is not always that simple. Writers, from newbies to seasoned ones, at times get stuck staring at a blank piece of paper. There are times when the situation spirals down to writer’s block, where writers run out of things to say, feel insecure about their writing, get uncomfortable with their writing voice, feel fatigued with the process, and even lack the motivation to write. A writing coach can help you get back on track and overcome fears blocking your way. A good writing coach can help the writers feel motivated, confident, and self-assured by enabling them to achieve the right mindset.

Set realistic daily or weekly writing goals

It is really easy to set ideal writing goals. Especially for business leaders who are driven and results-oriented, we always aim for high productivity and efficiency. This is a common pitfall to leaders who want to write. While you know for a fact that you can write 1000 words in one sitting, and your schedule would permit you to have 3 writing sessions a week, it does not necessarily mean you should set your weekly writing goal to 3000 words. There are a lot of factors to consider because writing is not simply writing words. While 3000 words may be the ideal weekly target, is it a realistic one? What factors should be considered when setting goals? What obstacles can hinder the consistency of achieving the ideal word count? Writing coaches have worked with different types of writers who have careers and companies to juggle. A realistic goal could mean a lower target word count. However, in the long run, it could help you finish at an earlier time.

How much does a writing coach charge?

Now that we know what the roles are of a writing coach, you are probably thinking how much a good writing coach would cost. Online research will give an idea of typical writing coach rates. At the same time, every coach is different and prices vary depending on their experience, the knowledge they can impart, their authority and credibility, and the services they provide. 

Usually, writing coaches charge billable hours and can cost around $50 to $300 per hour. The cost will not just depend on what the writing coach can provide, but on what you need as well.

It would be best to look for writing coaches who offer a free consultation to determine if they are a good fit for the writer.

What do I need to look for in a writing coach?

Each writer is unique, and the same can be said for writing coaches. No writing coach bears the title of the best of them all because they offer varying methods, specializations, and techniques. Instead of looking for the “best” writing coach, look for one who is a good fit for your needs.

Someone who has an established reputation

Coaching is a paid service. And hiring a writing coach is an investment. It would be best to look for reputable coaches who have the credibility and authority in their field of expertise. While browsing online, check reviews and see what previous clients say. Join writer forums and post questions about writing coaches and see who fellow writers recommend. Check out who among the authors in your genre worked with a writing coach and get their names. To be successful at writing, you need to hire a writing coach who has proven methods and has helped writers achieve their goals. 

Can help you write more honestly and authentically

Hire a writing coach who will allow you to feel safe about being honest. The best way to write is to write honestly and authentically. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to write in your voice. Think of it this way, in a normal conversation, can you speak truthfully if you have a lot of reservations? Chances are, even your tone of voice and word choice will be different.

Has coaching style that works for you

Writers have different personalities, communication styles, and motivating factors. Some writing coaches use one or several of various recognized coaching styles. However, some use their own approach or model. It is worth noting that most successful coaches recognize the need for tailor-fitting their style to their clients.

Different people respond to different coaching styles. A coaching style that works for you will help impact your writing positively, and help maximize your writing potential. Before scheduling a free consultation, prepare a list of questions to help you understand the approach of the writing coach. Ask about potential challenges that you will be facing, your fears about writing, what aspect of writing you feel uncomfortable with, what you find difficult in the writing process, and take note of how the writing coach would address your questions. Ultimately, hire a writing coach that you find easy to communicate with and who makes you feel at ease with sharing your thoughts.

Can help you feel excited about your book

It is exciting to become an author! Launching a book, getting it out there, earning the title of an author – not everyone can achieve such feats. It is wonderful to enter a room with a crowd of readers waiting for the person who wrote the words that changed their lives. But sometimes, the journey to getting published can make authors feel overwhelmed. The excitement wanes and is replaced by fears and insecurities. Hire a writing coach who can help you set your eyes on the prize and keep you feeling excited and positive about the writing process.

14 Reasons why you should hire a writing coach

Writing coaches are invaluable partners not just for writers at the onset of their careers, but even for seasoned authors as well. If you are aiming for success, you need a partner that can elevate your writing skills. Writing should be an enjoyable process but oftentimes the learning curve becomes the biggest barrier to new writers. Because of this, many aspiring writers gave up on their dream. Should you hire a writing coach? Here are 14 good reasons why.

1. Clarify your writing goals

There are business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to publish a book because they want a legacy piece. Some aim to establish their authority and credibility in their field. Others intend to use the book to generate more business for their organization. And some target speaking engagements. Why are you writing a book? What do you want to happen after writing your book? What do you want your readers to do after they read your book? Hiring a writing coach can help you set your writing goals. What is the purpose of writing in the first place if the writer has no goals?

2. Learn more effectively through one-on-one sessions

A lot of writing classes are available online. Aspiring authors can take these classes to learn more about the basics of writing. Some classes even help address writer’s block. Writers can also learn different writing styles and techniques by attending workshops. However, there is no denying that the best, and fastest way to learn is going through dedicated one-on-one sessions with an expert. Hiring a writing coach can help shorten your learning curve and address your personal writing needs that online classes cannot provide.

3. Create and implement a realistic development plan

A realistic and solid writing development plan is the blueprint for a successful book. Writing without a plan is journeying without a map. You can still reach your destination without a map, but it might take you more than twice the time if you have one. Hiring a writing coach will not just inspire, excite, and motivate you to write. While a simple writing plan includes writing session schedules, due dates, deliverables, a writing coach will help create a plan that encompasses how schedules and deliverables can be met on time, and with utmost quality. If the goal is to write 2000 words per session, a development plan will include how the writer can realistically reach 2000 words. If there are 3 sessions scheduled per week, a development plan should indicate when and where each session should take place, and how each session can be done without delay.

4. Brings accountability to your book development plan 

Any writer can draft a book development plan. However, executing that plan, being diligent in finishing the weekly goals, and having the discipline to follow due dates are all easier said than done. Having someone who will monitor your progress, keep you disciplined in following the schedule, and hold you accountable for your deliverables will ensure that your manuscript gets finished and target dates do not get pushed back. There are no arbitrary deadlines when it comes to writing coaches.

5. Manage your time more effectively

It is easy to fall off-track on your schedule. While writing a book is a priority, business leaders and entrepreneurs have a lot of other important things to prioritize. Aside from helping writers create a successful book development plan, writing coaches help in managing time more effectively. If a writer has allotted 10 hours a week for writing, how should those 10 hours be spent? Hiring a writing coach will help writers determine how much time should be spent in research, writing exercises, one-on-one sessions, and the actual writing? 

7. Identify challenges to your book’s success

A writer’s main task is to write. Getting immersed in the writing process takes a lot of time and oftentimes, reflecting on challenges takes a backseat. The danger here is that obstacles do not get addressed properly like poor writing quality, moving deadlines, writer’s block, disorganized ideas, and many more which can lead to mediocre writing and an even more mediocre book. A writing coach has a view from the outside that writers do not have and can help identify what the writer needs to address to finish the book seamlessly. Let’s face it, sometimes, we do not know that we need help. We oftentimes do not know that there are problems up ahead and only take notice when it’s already there. Do you know when writer’s block is on the horizon? Have you gotten the perspective of your potential readers?

8. Avoid getting burnt out

Writing can be both enjoyable and tasking. While there are times when writers are in the “zone” and words keep flowing out endlessly, there are also times when writers write for the sake of following the writing schedule. This is when writing becomes a task and the tedium of following the schedule can become exhausting. The mind gets saturated, the body gets tired. Suddenly, the excitement is gone and is replaced with weariness and fatigue. Prevention is better than cure and a writing coach can prevent writers from getting burnt out. As discussed earlier, writing coaches help writers keep a positive mindset. 

9. Overcome writer’s block

Writer’s block is every writer’s nightmare. It can impede writing for days, weeks, or even months. Even seasoned writers get afflicted with it at times. In 1981, Michael V. Barrios and Jerome L. Singer published a study on what causes creative blocks and how to treat them. According to the study, the four main causes of writer’s block are:

  • Excessively harsh self-criticism
  • The anxiety of comparison to other writers
  • Lack of external motivation such as positive attention and praise
  • Lack of internal motivation such as the desire to share a story

Their study, The Treatment of Creative Blocks: A Comparison of Waking Imagery, Hypnotic Dream, and Rational Discussion Techniques, identifies these causes and provides ways on how to overcome and even prevent them from happening. While reading their published work may help, hiring a writing coach is a more efficient and effective way of dealing with the problem. Writing coaches who have dealt with the condition can provide interventions that have been proven and tested with other writers.

10. Assess your drafts and manuscript

Self-editing is good practice. However, you are so used to your writing style that it is difficult to have an unbiased opinion about your work. Writers tend to either be too lenient or too harsh in criticizing their work. Self-editing your work for spelling mistakes, vague sentences, and grammar errors may seem a pretty straightforward task, but it is easy to overlook errors because the brain automatically fills the gaps of what the writer is trying to say. 

There are sites like creativenonfiction.org where writers can submit and get feedback on their work. The site also provides writing coach services.

A writing coach can give insights when the draft does not clearly express what the writer is trying to say. Authors need honest, unbiased feedback with a healthy dose of constructive criticism. Most coaches provide page-by-page comments on the manuscript which helps the writer learn better ways of expressing their thoughts.

11. Create and submit convincing book proposals

A nonfiction book proposal is aimed to convince publishing companies to subsidize and publish a book. An effective book proposal presents a summary of the book idea, some sample chapters on the topic of the book, and a marketing plan for the book. Some writers, no matter how good they are at writing, are not well-equipped in selling themselves, nor are skilled in crafting marketing plans for books. 

If you are planning to self-publish your book, you may still need to write a book proposal for independent bookstores if you are aiming to get help with distribution. On the other hand, if you are not looking for traditional publishing, but want a professional way of getting your book distributed and marketed, Leaders Press provides hybrid publishing services that can help get your book published and launched into a best-selling book

Some writing coaches include book proposals in their list services. It would be wise to consider a writing coach that can help you draft your writing proposal especially if you are aiming to get published traditionally. 

12. Maximize your author platform

A writer’s platform is the combination of a writer’s social media and online reach, relationship with media outlets, connections with published authors, and network of publishing influencers. The strength of a writer’s platform depends on the writer’s ability to influence readers to buy and read their book. For nonfiction writers, the strength of the platform plays a critical role in getting a book deal with a traditional publishing house because it is an indicator of their book’s potential in becoming a best-seller. Although not all writing coaches provide writer’s platform-building services, hiring one who can adds a lot of value.

13. Learn the ins and outs of the publishing community

Successful business leaders and entrepreneurs are experts in their industries. But the publishing world is a different arena and learning the ins and outs of the community may not be as straightforward as it seems. A writing coach is like a sports agent or who is in the know of the culture, the influencers, decision-makers, and certain circles within the publishing community. While writers can learn this on their own, it is best to have someone who has extensive experience in publishing. 

14. Finish what you started and succeed in your goal

Starting a book can be easier than finishing it. It is a long and tedious process and many writers have ended up putting a stop to their project because of all the obstacles and drawbacks they experienced. Hiring a writing coach can help clear the path to an enjoyable writing experience and most importantly a successful book launch. 

Should I hire a writing coach?

A writing coach is an invaluable partner in the book creation process. As mentioned in this article, a book is an investment and for an investment to succeed, the investor should make sound decisions and execute careful planning. Based on the reasons stated above, a writing coach will not just help you write your book but make it successful as well. At the same time, a writing coach is an additional investment. There are other ways of getting your book published and knowing your options first is the best way to start.