Many authors find that their journey can be rather lonely, arduous, and confusing. You have a book in mind – you may have even already written a few. You know you can write; people enjoy reading what you write. But, you just seem to write when the mood strikes, or you write with fervor, but then get hung up on the next steps.
A coach helps with ALL steps. A coach holds you accountable, cheers you on, critiques when necessary and gives direction throughout the entire process.
Working with a coach simply means you are never alone in the process. A coach will work beside you, and learn your goals, then push you outside your comfort zone to make sure you reach and even EXCEED those goals!
Having a literary coach is not something every author thinks of. Most authors know they need a proofreader, an editor and maybe even an agent. But, who helps them with all of that? How do authors learn to write an effective query letter? How do authors learn about marketing themselves and their books? (This is covered in another post, but marketing is NOT the job of the publisher). Who works with the author to develop a timeline and hold them accountable to finishing their tasks on time?
Many authors that I know end up joining local writing groups for accountability and networking possibilities. While there can certainly be a benefit to being in a writing group, it should not be where you go to be pushed. I’ve seen many authors come away discouraged rather than inspired by the groups they belong to. There is an underlying sense of competition within these groups – and not the constructive type of competition. So, join that group – be surrounded by like-minded people – but outside of that group, have a coach!
A coach’s job is to keep you motivated, centered and focused. Of course, your job, then, is to be coachable. Be humble enough to accept the coaching. This doesn’t mean you have to accept and do everything your coach tells you. Any coach who insists their way is the ONLY way is not a great coach (even us coaches need coaches!).
So, how do you choose a great coach?
- Know what you are needing from a coach
- Be willing to share your ideas to make sure there is a good fit
- Make sure the coach’s availability to you meets your needs
- Do your research – check them out on their website, social media, etc
- Ask a potential coach to share with you exactly how they think they can help you
There should be a connection between you and your coach. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help! You want to succeed – a coach can help make that happen! The very best in the world didn’t get their on their own.
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so that you can be who you have always known you could be” – Tom Landry