Writing can be a lonely business, whether you’re a seasoned copywriter employed by a large corporation, a roving reporter on the police beat, a stay-at-home parent freelancing to make ends meet, or just the person who drew the short straw and got stuck writing website copy.
Even if introvert is your middle name, the amount of solo time most writers spend creating can make you feel at times like you’re working in a silo, with no one to keep you on task (unless you’re lucky enough to have deadlines).
Creative writers know the value of writers’ groups, which offer networking opportunities, as well as the chance to have your work read and critiqued by your peers. But not everyone knows the value of an often-overlooked resource for writers: a writing coach.
Writing coaches come alongside writers and offer guidelines, discipline, direction, wisdom, and other critical how-tos. Beginners and professionals use them, and those who do typically come away with more efficient—and better quality—work than those who don’t.
Think about athletes: Even the most skilled gymnast or track star wouldn’t think about training for the Olympics without a coach in their corner, cheering, guiding, correcting, encouraging, and prodding them on to be the best they can possibly be. It’s time writers approached their craft with the same kind of drive for excellence that professional athletes do for theirs.
Here are three key reasons why a writing coach might be a good choice for you:
1. A mentor in your corner
In high school and college, you had a teacher in every class wielding that ever-present red pen, teaching you new writing tips and tricks, encouraging you to step up and meet high standards—and penalizing you with a bad grade if you didn’t.
But in real life, the penalty can be losing your job or not being asked to write for that publication or website again, and we’re not all lucky enough to have an editor, agent, or supervisor looking over our shoulder with an eye on helping us be the best we can be.
A good writing coach can be that supportive but challenging mentor in your corner, helping you improve and produce your best work possible.
Face it: It’s not your spouse or your friend’s job to offer any more than a polite “great work” or “loved it” about your piece. A coach, however, must be honest and authentic… all for your best interest.
2. Keeping you on task and disciplined
We all know we “creative” types aren’t exactly known for our steadfast discipline. While some of us are type A taskmasters driven to knock out one job and then move onto the next, many others of us are free-spirited expressives who struggle to stay focused and on track unless forced.
Writing coaches can be the taskmasters many of us need to stick to our goals and deadlines, or help us create set writing schedules—and stick to them. If we’re struggling with a novel or other long piece, they can help with outlining, plot charts, and other tools designed to move us from point A to B.
3. Balancing our weaknesses
Rarely are writers great at every aspect of writing. Usually a writer is a dichotomy of sorts: a strong creator of plot-twists and dramatic scenes but not so great at looping big-picture themes from start to finish. A terrific page-turning strategist but rotten at spotting typos or repeated words.
Writing coaches can be there to balance writers’ weaknesses, the yin to your yang. They can help steer you to better marketing tactics if that’s your weak point, or help you catch those misspelled words.
Would a writing coach benefit you? Click here to schedule your free 30-minute consultation today.
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