On Working With a Writing Coach

Have you ever felt stuck in your writing career?

Like you’re doing the right things and still getting nowhere? Writing, blogging, going to conferences, submitting manuscripts, building an online platform…After a while, it’s easy to start feeling like a dog chasing its own tail! You spin round and round…


Taro the Shiba Inu1
…getting absolutely nowhere.

Looking Back

Kendra_headshot2013That’s where I was about two and a half years ago, when I started working with writing coach Kendra Levin.

Recently, I…graduated? Or whatever it’s called when your coach/mentor becomes a friend/fellow creative traveler. And since I began my coaching season by blogging about the experience, sharing some of my insights along the way, and interviewing writing/life coaches, it seems fitting to share the wrap-up as well.

The Beginning

I started working with Kendra because I was having a tough time finding balance between the demands of my personal life and my passion to create. I was having trouble holding onto creativity in the face of the unavoidable rejections writers face.

I was trying very, very hard to do things RIGHT (whatever that means) that I had no idea what I actually needed or wanted.
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Jocelyn Paige Kelly, Creativity Coach and Transitions Coach for Creative Professionals

I’ve recently started with working with a writing coach. And I’ve found it so beneficial, I wanted to share the love by introducing you, dear readers, to a broad spectrum of coaches with a broad range of expertise.

clip_image001For today’s guest, please offer a warm welcome to Jocelyn Paige Kelly

I discovered Jocelyn on Twitter, where she tweets inspiration for creatives of all types as @jpk_rycl (which, I believe stands for: Jocelyn Paige Kelly – Realizing Your Creative Life). She writes thought-provoking posts about the interplay of life and creativity.

How can a writer decide if working with a coach would benefit them?

The best way to decide is to dive in and take a test drive. Most coaches will give a free consultation and session so they can experience the process themselves and understand the benefits first hand. This also gives the curious seeker and the experienced coach an opportunity to see if there’s synergy there between them.

What sort of goals or skills do you work on with a client?

My background and skill set is in working with various modes of stress management (hypnosis, meditation, art therapy, storytelling and journaling). I believe in overall life balance with creativity being at the center of it.

When I work with clients, I follow their lead. It’s very important for me to respect and match their pace. Whether a client comes to me to work on finishing a specific project or comes with a variety of creative issues and challenges, I work with them in a co-creative atmosphere to help them achieve their goals or create a better understanding of their own creative process.

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Daphne Gray-Grant, Publication Coach

I’ve recently started with working with a writing coach

And I’ve found it so beneficial, I wanted to share the love by introducing you, dear readers, to a broad spectrum of coaches with a broad range of expertise.

For today’s guest, please offer a warm welcome to Daphne Gray-Grant

Daph-jacket-02-HI REZI discovered Daphne on Twitter, where she tweets inspiration and information for writers as @pubcoach. She also writes a blog chock-full of writing and productivity tips. Read on as Daphne shares some of her tips for writers, as well as information about how she works with her coaching clients.

How can a writer decide if working with a coach would benefit them?

I think it comes down to this: You have to ask yourself whether it’s worth it to pay money to learn how to become a better, more effective writer. For some people, the immediate answer is ‘yes!’ They’ve suffered so much pain from writing, (or more usually, not writing!) they want the pain to stop. For others the answer may be no. Perhaps they have the time and discipline to read books on writing and work at teaching themselves. (Although, I have to note that this is not an easy task!) For still others – usually those who write for corporations – their boss or company may be willing to pay for the coaching, and for them the answer should be a rapid “yes!”

What sort of goals or skills do you work on with a client?

I work with corporate writers, bloggers and would-be authors of books. Every client is an individual and I’m very flexible but, generally, people want to work with me on one of the following areas:

  • How to beat writer’s block
  • How to write faster
  • How to become a better self-editor
  • How to self-publish

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Ali Luke, Writing Coach

I’ve recently started with working with a writing coach

And I’ve found it so beneficial, I wanted to share the love. This week, Ali Luke joins us all the way from Great Britain (don’t you love the web?) to talk about her approach as a writing coach.

For today’s guest, please offer a warm welcome to Ali Luke…

AliPaul-Web-Watermarked-024-300x200 How can a writer decide if working with a coach would benefit them?

A coach can help you at almost any stage of your writing – but, ideally, you’ll want a reasonably firm grasp on the basics (like spelling, grammar, and the “rules” of your chosen genre). You might want to take a writing class or read a couple of books on writing, practicing your craft on your own before hiring a coach.

That’s not to say that a coach will expect you to be perfect! But when you’re paying for one-to-one tuition, you probably want to be at a level where you can work on more advanced things than editing out basic mistakes.

If you’re feeling stuck with your writing – perhaps you’re struggling with a new project, or you simply feel like you’ve stopped improving – then that can be a particularly good time to work with a coach.

What sort of goals or skills do you work on with a client?

I tailor my coaching very much to the individual client, though I specialise in the writing itself and practical suggestions. Goals vary in size and scope from client to client, but a few typical ones include:

  • Writing a sales page or about page for the client’s own writing business
  • Finishing a short story or making progress on a novel
  • Getting a guest post onto a major blog in the client’s niche

We tend to work on skills as part of a goal: for instance, if a client is writing fiction, we might work on dialogue, or if a client is blogging, we’ll look at calls to action. Although writing exercises can be useful and fun, I think it’s more rewarding to work on skills in the context of a real piece of writing that’s intended for publication.

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