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Do you need a writing coach? Here are some questions to ask.

Coaching isn’t what it used to be. 

Years ago, the mention of the word coach would immediately bring to mind the guy in a polo shirt on the sidelines, a hand on one hip–clipboard in the other, with a whistle hanging from his mouth. For some, this visual brings back positive childhood memories, while for others, it triggers more painful athletic experiences.  

Coaches used to only relate to the playing field, but over the years, this career field has expanded to include so many areas of our life. An athletic coach helps their players grow internally and physically to perform well on the court or field by their mentorship, accountability and training. So it makes sense that we would need coaches for other important aspects of life such as writing, speaking, starting businesses, and even, managing general life to help position and mentor us in these areas, as well. 

In the creator content spaces such as writing, speaking, and podcasting, there are multiple ways a coach can be helpful to your career. But do you need one – specifically a writing coach – at this point? Only you can determine that. You can, however, ask yourself these questions to make the decision much clearer and easier.

1. Do you know the difference between a writing coach and other types of coaching? 

 Coaches can include those hired to help with business, fitness, mental health, wellness, parenting, marriage, and so much more. A writing coach specifically focuses on helping you get your words out. 

This person is beneficial, whether you plan to publish traditionally or take the independent route. Writing coaches are a source of unbiased support, giving you an outside perspective that can ultimately give your book a more professional feel. 

That support may look like story development, outlines, helping you walk through the publishing process, or just giving you the tools you need to adjust your perspective. A writing coach may also be more of a book coach, specifically focused on your book writing project. Here are some specific ways a writing coach can help:

  • Mindset: A writing coach will help you mentally prepare for the book writing process.
  • Writing skills: A writing coach can help you improve your writing skill and technique.
  • Project development: A writing coach can help you brainstorm an effective direction for your book.
  • Ghostwriting: A writing coach can help the writing portion of your manuscript based on your drafts, messages, and interview responses.
  • Outlining: A writing coach can help you form a workable layout for you to build your book from. 
  • Illustrations and Concepts: A writing coach can help turn your ideas into tangible content for your book.
  • Editing: A writing coach can help you adjust and polish your manuscript.
  • Curated Timeline: A writing coach will give you a workable schedule based on your current needs and goals.
  • Project management: A writing coach can help you get from point A to Z in the book publishing journey.
  • Book proposals: A writing coach will help you craft a professional book proposal for submission.
  • Industry contacts: A writing coach may help connect you to others in the book industry that can help with your publishing journey.

2. Is your goal to publish a book?

This question is a big one. . Although a writing coach helps with the writing process, there needs to be a tangible goal in mind that you are working towards. Tangible goals  seperate those who may write solely for therapeutic and enjoyment reasons from those who may also write for those reasons, but write with the purpose of having others read their work. 

If your plan doesn't include some form of publishing, a writing coach may not be for you. However, another type of coach may be more suited to your needs. For instance, a personal development coach may suggest writing as an activity, leading towards the goal of growth.

Knowing your publishing goals will help in your communication with a writing coach. Your coach will use that information to guide you in the right direction. Investing in a writing coach is a worthy investment if you are looking for tangible results in your writing. 

3. Are you financially able to invest in a coach?

This is a question we should ask ourselves very early on. Coaching costs vary from one person to the next. For example, some may charge per coaching call, others charge a monthly fee, or there may be a specific cost for the book project from start to finish. Typically, writing coach fees can range from $50 to $200 an hour. As with the charges, the style of coach will differ among coaches. All your communication could be through email with one coach, while another coach may want to meet in person at least once during the process. 

But this doesn't mean hiring a writing coach is out of your budget. Weighing the benefits of a writing coach against other items on your budget can give you a better sense of where to put your money.

You may find that hiring a writing coach makes better sense than some of the other options you've been considering, like hiring an editor, a ghostwriter or self-publishing your book too early. Not only can a writing coach help in those areas, but they can give you a better sense of the who else you may need to hire. 

If you want to hire a writing coach but it feels outside of your budget, here are some ways to lower the cost?

  • Hire a newer writing coach. New doesn’t have to mean inexperience or incompetent. A coach building their business will be eager to take on new clients and usually do so for a much lower rate.
  • Research your favorite authors. Many established authors offer coaching services on their websites. Some are even willing to mentor hopeful authors that they have authentically connected with.
  • Barter your services. What do you have to offer that may be a helpful resource to a writing coach? Maybe interning as a writing coach's virtual assistant or social media manager could give you a discounted rate on coaching services. 

4. Should you start growing a writing team?

Like coaching, a team atmosphere isn’t confined to sports. Building a team is a valuable part of writing and publishing that often gets overlooked. , You can and should have people in your corner that partner with you for the wins—and help lift you in times of disappointment. Because writing is a mostly solo activity, it is important writers guard against loneliness and isolation in our craft.

Being involved in a mastermind group is an effective way to start to build your writing team. The community atmosphere of a mastermind group prepares you for feedback, critique, inspiration and collaboration. From there, you could involve critique partners, beta readers, agents, editors, virtual assistants, and designers. However, a writing coach may be the first and easiest addition for you to make. The reason is in the name. To publish a book, a manuscript has to be written. 

5. Are you confused about how to start and need help with clarification? 

Hiring a writing coach doesn’t have to just happen when you write a book. You can involve a writing coach into your development process, from the beginning stages of your book writing project.

Because of their experience, writing coaches will give you a good perspective on where you are now and where you need to go to move forward. The steps you take won't always (or shouldn't) look like someone else, so having a customized plan catered to your journey is essential. They can create a workable plan with tangible steps to take. 

Having a good schedule and deadlines to write toward is a great way to stay motivated. A writing coach will show you where to start and be there to encourage you as you walk it out. 

6. Are you looking for a way to validate your dream? 

 We often shy away from letting outside voices influence our calling. And the call is personal and individual. Decisions about our career must be ours. But having someone that's been where you want to go can help make your dreams a reality and provide tangible tools that lead to progress and success. 

The goal of publishing a book is for others to read that book. Hiring an experienced mentor to accompany you as you write will help steer your career toward impact and success.

A writing coach will help you build on your strengths. And if there is an area in the writing process that you are weak in, they can guide you toward resources and systems that will assist in your growth. A writing coach can validate your dream by showing you what to do to accomplish it. 

7. Do you have too much on your plate to finish what you’ve started without help? 

There is nothing like an athletic coach with a whistle in her hand and your name on her lips to get you into motion. A writing coach will not be in your face, blowing a whistle every time you mess up, but they can apply the perfect amount of pressure you need to stick to your goals. This is the benefit of coaching accountability.

Having someone aware of your project needs— from concept to implementation—will allow you to move forward in a timely manner. This increases your productivity and can decrease your stress level. So many writers start the writing process but don't finish it because they have not had people to help motivate and drive them. 

Hiring a coach will help you navigate  the “I want to quit” syndrome so you can finish strong. Someone in your corner who is focused on your goals will encourage you at every step to complete all the objectives. A writing coach is the accountability you need to move forward.

8. Are you feeling stuck with your creativity? 

Maybe you're too close to your book project to see where you need to go next. Or perhaps you are just dealing with a significant case of writer's block. A writing coach can help ensure you don't stay stuck for long. 

Encouragement from an experienced coach can do wonders for your writing. Having someone else to bounce ideas off will give you a fresh perspective or the permission you need to let go of something that isn't working. It's like a mini-mastermind group where the focus is on you. Your writing coach will help you identify the kinks that are tripping you up so your progress can continue as smoothly as possible. 

Thankfully, most coaches should offer a free initial session so that you can learn more about their services. Knowing what type of coaching you need and what costs you are ready to pay will determine if it is financially feasible for you. 

Are you looking for coaching in more of a community environment? 

Do you need a more cost-effective way to involve coaching in your writing routine? Called Creatives may be the answer you are looking for. Combining the best of multiple resources, Called Creatives provides hands-on training for writing and speaking with influence and impact.

Founded by Lisa Whittle and Alli Worthington, this community is about encouraging creatives who do their best to steward their call towards business, ministry, publishing, and more. Community engagement, mastermind groups, and co-working opportunities provide support for every part of your process.

Called Creatives provides curated resources to help you succeed in your publishing path. Featuring training topics covering multiple aspects relevant to professional writers, podcasters, and speakers, joining Called Creatives has the goods to equip you for your writing career for the long haul. And now, with the newly launched Called Creatives Publishing, members can make their publishing dreams a tangible reality. 

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, choosing to invest into your book project with a writing coach may be the best next step for you. A writing coach will empower you to accomplish your career goals and celebrate your progress every step of the way.

We hope these tips help you make the best decisions for your career! 

At Called Creatives our desire is to help women like you write and speak with influence and impact. Join us for access to additional topics, exclusive training and connection opportunities. Our content is specifically cultivated to help you succeed in whatever form your calling takes. 

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