Why a writing coach is your best friend

People live at the heart of your story.

You may think your book is about you. And it absolutely is. Your unique voice breathes life into a story that only you can tell.

But it’s not JUST about you.

It takes a village of beta readers, critique partners, writing coaches, editors, agents, proofreaders, graphic designers, and publishers to get your book onto a shelf and into the hands of the readers who will connect with your story.

It takes a village of beta readers, critique partners, writing coaches, editors, agents, proofreaders, graphic designers, and publishers to get your book onto a shelf and into the hands of the readers who will connect with your story.

I’ve been sharing with you this month how critical it is for today’s writer to embrace writing in community and abandon the out-dated vision of the solitary writer pecking away at a typewriter (or computer) in the aesthetic quiet of their home office.

It’s just not reality.

Craft and industry advice, as well as feedback, from experienced industry professionals is absolutely critical for your career growth as a writer. Can I just say that again? Let this soak in.

Craft and industry advice, as well as feedback, from experienced industry professionals is absolutely critical for your career growth as a writer.

Are you really being challenged as a writer and professional if you’re only interacting with writers at your skill and experience level or below? Do you feel confused by conflicting feedback from friends, family, or peers who may not even be familiar with your genre or the industry?

Recently a serious issue came up related to my responsibilities as managing editor of Crosshair Press, an indie publisher specializing in adventure stories that ask life’s tough questions. It was a sticky situation we’d never encountered before, and myself and the Crosshair team weren’t sure the best way to respond.

So, what did I do? Call my mom? Phone a friend? Of course, not. The Crosshair Press team is so grateful to call many key industry leaders our friends and mentors. I called literary agent Steve Laube and explained our situation, and he very kindly took the time to share his experiences and recommend a professional course of action. Many other writing craft and industry mentors have also made invaluable contributions to my craft and career.

Many writing craft and industry mentors have made invaluable contributions to my craft and career.

Multi-published author, editor, and Writer’s Digest contributor Jeff Gerke offered CP insider advice when we launched, as well as giving me a recommendation blurb after reading a book I’d edited for a client (he had seen a previous version of the manuscript). Kregel Publications managing editor Steve Barclift took me under his wing as a clueless 19-year-old writer and has been a friend and mentor ever since.

As a young writer, I completed the CWG Apprenticeship and Journeyman courses under the mentorship of respected literary agent Les Stobbe and romantic suspense author DiAnn Mills. These courses proved to be an incredibly valuable part of my writing journey and inspired my own 8-week Fiction Fundamentals writing mentorship course. 

I could go on, but I think you get my point. Receiving feedback and advice from industry professionals is one of the best ways you can invest in yourself and your writing career.

Receiving feedback and advice from industry professionals is one of the best ways you can invest in yourself and your writing career. 

What’s this got to do with you? First, don’t isolate yourself. Find a community and invest in other people. More on this in my blog post, “An Introvert’s Guide to Networking.” Second, invest in a writing coach or mentor.

A writing coach can do more for your craft and your career than a dozen writing conferences or a library full of how-to-write books. A writing coach pinpoints problem areas, makes suggestions for growth that are specific to you and your situation, guides you through the complicated web that is the book industry, and becomes your No. 1 fan and encourager!

A writing coach pinpoints problem areas, makes suggestions for growth that are specific to you and your situation, guides you through the complicated web that is the book industry, and becomes your No. 1 fan and encourager! 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the abundance of writing resources, feedback, and “should-do” lists. It’s your writing coach’s job to sort through the noise and make recommendations that are relevant to you.

Please, please, please. Don’t try to take this journey on your own. Don’t believe the lie that you don’t need anyone else to guide you. Save yourself the time and trouble and learn from someone else’s experiences. Don’t believe me?

Here’s what award-winning author and speaker Laura VanArendonk Baugh had to say:

Katie is that most valuable of assets for a writer: a good listener who asks on-point questions. She’s keen on structure and knows how to save an author time and money with a little pithy planning. If you’re not sure if your idea is solid or if your plot arc is supported, invest a little time in a consult before you invest dozens or hundreds of hours in your work. It’s worth it.” 

I became a developmental editor and writing coach because I love empowering passionate, career-oriented writers to achieve their goals and develop to their full potential. I’m invested in helping authors tell their story with clarity and confidence.

IMG_7999rvhoriIf you’re dedicated to craft and passionate about story, if you know you can’t go any further on your own and are ready to rise to the challenge, connect with me. I’d love to talk with you about your story and writing journey. Book a writing coaching session today. Let’s trouble-shoot your craft and plan for success.

You’ll learn how to construct a powerful story, create characters your readers will love, trouble-shoot common problems I encounter as an editor, interact professionally in a very competitive industry, and get other people excited about your story! 

Remember, you don’t have to take this journey on your own. In fact, it’s so much better to journey with other writers and industry professionals. The writing journey is hard and filled with ups and downs and easy pitfalls.

Let’s journey on together, shall we?

 

Who has been a coach or mentor to you in your writing journey? What contributions did they make? I’d love to know! Reply in the comments. 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Sable Aradia says:

    Reblogged this on Diane Morrison and commented:
    Note that this is not an endorsement of this coach’s services.  It’s just that I didn’t know what a writing coach did, and thought you might not either!

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