So it’s like, mental coaching?
What even is a book coach?
This term isn’t necessarily new, by any means, but it has been popping up more and more these days, and no, not just by me.
Let me know if this is what you pictured:
An industry professional.
An accountability partner.
A career consultant.
A story expert.
A brainstorm partner.
It’s shocking all that’s involved in coaching. It’s not a one-size fits all process. There isn’t one perfect plan of attack that encompasses the needs of every writer. Coaching is tailored to you. On Instagram I was DMing with a writer and as she asked what coaching entailed, based on her needs and what she would want out of a coach, she asked, “So it’s like mental coaching?”
Shifting my developmental editing business into book coaching was not a whim decision. My skills as a coach would not be the same had I not already spent years and years leading authors through their careers whilst editing.
I’ve been developmental editing since my business began, but I also paid attention to what my authors said. Whether it was venting about a struggle, trying to find ways to get “unstuck,” making sense of career path decisions, bouncing ideas off of me, or discussing their concerns—I’ve been there for it all.
I helped when I could, but ultimately at the time, some of these issues were outside of my scope of services or experience. Except, after years of this work, these discussions, I realized it wasn’t outside my experience at all—I had been primed for coaching. I’d spent years counseling and consoling clients. Years lifting them up, encouraging them, supporting them, pushing them. All while teaching them how to tell an amazing story and write it in the strongest way possible.
Before edits, I would warn authors that my edits would not be me doing the work for them. Instead, I was giving them the tools and knowledge to be able to apply concepts to their work on their own so they could continue to grow as an author for years to come. After getting edits back, one client said, “I feel like I’ve learned more in the last two weeks than the last two years.”
When I began teaching workshops, I found how much I loved the interaction with the students. What questions do they have? What concept is holding them up? Where can I step in and guide them?
Since February 2020, I’ve been hosting weekly live video chats with my Facebook group and I’ve learned more about authors than ever. What they worry about, what concepts they struggle with, how necessary accountability is, and what stands in their way as a writer.
Coaching is a bit like that, but on a much more in-depth, focused scale. I typically meet with my authors every other week via phone or Zoom, and each session is adjusted—with homework on both ends—to account for what I and the author establish the needs are. We constantly evaluate where we are going and how to get there. I may read writing, assign homework or exercises, provide insight and expertise to help guide them in their decisions, give critiques and story edits, brainstorm an outline or a series, or even just help them through a rough patch. Many of my clients start out with the three-month program but continue on. And wow, am I glad they do because my coaching call days are my favorite days of the week!
I share all of this because I want you to know there are options out there for you that are not just editing. If you need a boost in your writing career, or you are in need of a more fluid or constant partnership, a book coach may be exactly what you have been looking for without realizing it.
What could a book coach help you with?
Still confused? Hear it from the mouth of another writer. One of my coaching clients decided to take the plunge and dive into coaching with me, and here’s why it was what she needed:
If a book coach is just what you’ve been looking for, book a free consult today and we can see if a coaching program is right for you. (PS. Spaces are limited, apply ASAP)
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