Writing

How Can a Writing Coach Help You Become a Better Writer

Kevin Kessler
May 25, 2020
8 minutes


Are you having a difficult time finishing up your novel or dissertation? Perhaps you need a writing coach to guide you through the writing process.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stuck, as many writers often do, a coach can help you get back on track. This article will explain how a writing coach can help and how to choose the right one for you.

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What is a Writing Coach?

The first necessary clarification is that a writing coach is not the same as an editor. Whereas editors will rightfully focus on the text and the structure of your work, writing coaches will use a more personal approach.

However, a writing coach can often be an editor or a writer. But mostly, the role of a coach is to help a writer to organize. And to schedule their way to completing the work.

Writing Coach Strategies

Being a writing coach sounds interesting, but it’s also a little vague. But not if you learn about some of the services that a writing coach provides.

#1. Provide feedback

If you’re to work on your first novel or screenplay, for example, you’ll be spending a lot of time alone, thinking and typing. What you occasionally need is feedback regarding your work thus far. Grammarly might be of some help if you want to make sure you’re using the right tense or check for grammatical errors.

Instead of talking to your friends or marching directly to the publisher’s office, a writing coach can be your gauge of the moment.

#2. Inspire and motivate

Perhaps you have a clear inspiration and motivation, but many writers tend to spend it quickly. A good writing coach can remind you why you took on that particular project in the first place. They can help you see the endgame and how you might feel at the finish.

#3. Tackle the creative block

The dreaded writer’s block is no joke, and every writer fears it. But most find a way to push through it. If your writer’s block is taking too long, you might want to learn about the professional strategies for overcoming the block.

#4. Help with prioritization

Are you the type of person who starts one too many projects and barely finishing any of them? That’s not a character flaw, no matter what you might’ve heard.

It’s a sign of underdeveloped organizational skills. An outside perspective can help with identifying what’s important and urgent and what can wait a bit longer.

#5. Increase productivity

Unproductivity and procrastination are a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, there are tried and true tools and skills to counter that.

But knowing about something and applying it are very different things. A writing coach may be able to assist you in increasing your productivity.

#6. Give you advice

That’s the idea as a whole, but more specifically, a coach can advise you regarding how to secure a publisher. If they have enough experience, they can show you how to maximize your chances of getting published. And they may even have connections that they can introduce you to, especially if they believe in your talent.

#7. Build your confidence

This doesn’t mean paying lip service. It’s a well-known fact that writers doubt themselves a lot and lose confidence easily. Having someone who is an expert on writing point out your strong points might just be the needed boost.

How to Choose a Writing Coach

You might be curious about hiring a writing coach but don’t know where to start. How do you explain your needs and what to do if things just don’t work out? Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Not all coaches are the same

It might seem like an obvious statement, but it’s often overlooked all the same. A writing coach is a person who has their personal writing preferences, style, aesthetic, and manner of work that you might not agree with.

It’s always best to make your needs clear before you start working together. They might genuinely decline cooperation if they see that you’re not the right fit.

Wait for the right writing coach

The search may take a while, but if you’re to find someone perfect, you already know it’s going to be worth it. It would be unreasonable to expect just any writing coach to have experience in every literary arena, so nuances matter.

Check their credentials

Let’s face it; everyone can just call themselves a coach and create a website for listing their fees in bold letters.

You’re supposed to do the research and even ask for references (their previous clients). If they claim that they’ve written for an influential publication, you can request to read it. Teaching is a noble profession, but plenty of people have an unhealthy profit motive.

Ask for a free session

No, this doesn’t mean you should ask them to give you a one-month trial. But it does mean that it’s okay to ask for 15-20 minutes of sampling and learning what the process would look like. If they’re any good, you’ll be able to see whether they know what they’re talking about and if they can help you.

Manage your expectations

A conscientious writing coach will never promise you the stars. But that doesn’t mean you should expect too many of them either.

They can offer you real solutions to very real problems that are preventing you from doing your best work. But they can’t write for you or convince a publisher that your work is worth printing.

Who Can Writing Coaches Help?

  • Copy editors
  • Developmental editors
  • Nonfiction writers
  • Freelance writers
  • Ghostwriters
  • Creative writers

What Kind of Writing Can Writing Coaches Help You With?

  • Story writing
  • Freelance writing
  • Book writing
  • Manuscript writing
  • Publishing
  • Memoir writing

What Is the Rate for a Writing Coach?

The average price in the United States is $70 to $130. However, there are other factors to consider, like if it’s online or in-person and of course the coach’s credentials.

Writing Coach to the Rescue

Some people might scoff at the idea of a writing coach. But if you ever struggled to write anything, even an essay in middle school, you’d know better.

Understanding what a coach can do for you means you’ll know whether you need them or not. And if you do, make sure to be patient when choosing your coach. The bottom line is that a good writing coach that can provide good writing tips can turn you into the author you have always wanted to be.