Many people dream of writing a book. The trouble is, if it is a first book, they find themselves in the situation of not knowing where to begin and what steps to follow to make it a reality. Even if it isn’t a first book, the prospect of merging writing with an already full life is challenging. Few people have the luxury of quitting their job to try their hand at writing.
In order to increase the success rate of turning this desire into a book, many authors, particularly first time authors, benefit from the guidance of someone with more experience in the domain. Coaches who have already authored one or more books themselves are in the position to guide writers through the writing process by not only helping them overcome hurdles such as writers block and overly busy schedules, but also by helping them navigate the writing process and evaluate publishing options.
Why should first time writers, or any writer at all consider hiring a writing coach? There are several very good reasons. A writing coach can offer insight and help with regard to the various experts in the industry. For example, what is the difference between a conceptual editor and a line editor? When is one needed? How does the publishing industry work? What does a literary agent do? Why would a writer need one? Who markets the book? How does that happen? How long does it take to have a book published the traditional way? What is the cost of self publishing? How does that work?
Additionally, most first time writers have a great idea, open their computer and begin writing without any concept of who they are writing to, why they are writing this story and what they hope will come from it. A writing coach helps the writer formulate their concept, establish a plan to ensure progress, support the writer when the enthusiasm for writing has waned and formulate goals for the development of the book. If someone wants to know how to write a novel, and has not achieved this goal for lack of direction, support or “know how”, a writing coach is needed.
Something a writing coach is not, is a ghost writer. Hiring a writing coach does not mean that the coach will take over the voice of the writer, re-write the book or in any way become a “co-author”. The writer maintains control of the written work. The writer is always in control of outcome of the story, and owns the finished product. A writing coach simply helps the writer achieve the desired outcome.
A writing coach is also not a publisher. While the coach will offer help, suggestions, and can make referrals for the publication of the novel, unless it is specified in a contract that the writing coach will handle the publication, a coach is not to be confused with publisher. The advantage of hiring a writing coach is to make the connections and find the right sources for the publication of the novel.
A writing coach will have at least one published book, possibly more. From this advantageous position, the coach can help the new writer establish writing practices, assess realistic writing goals, review the writer’s material and guide them through the process of taking an idea to a finished product.