What is coaching?

What is coaching?

Coaching is a focussed, supportive and goal-directed process with a trained professional who can help your development as a writer. The coach will help you identify goals in your writing and writing life and make manageable steps towards them. A coaching session will stimulate and clarify your thinking, stretch and challenge you, and give you practical steps to help you move forwards. 

How is Writing Coaching different to other coaching?

A Writing Coach specialises in helping writers. They are likely to be practising writers themselves. They will understand the problems, concerns and dilemmas many writers face and can help you focus your thinking in this area quickly and effectively.

How can coaching help me?

Coaching can help with blocks, issues, ambitions, confidence, doubts and decisions. You can be coached on something you do well and want to investigate ways of doing better. 

Some common topics for Writing Coaching include: finding and prioritising time to write; confidence in sending out work; handling rejection; getting published; finding an optimal balance for income vs writing time; how to develop strategies for dealing with issues blocking progress on work and your writing life.

What kind of writing can I receive coaching on?

Coaching is suitable for any type of writing and writer. It can help at any stage of your development and your coach does not need to be working in the same genre as you. The aspirations, anxieties, juggling acts and development issues many writers experience share common ground across genres.

How many coaching sessions will I need?

It depends on what you are aiming to resolve or make progress on. If one particular issue is holding you up at the moment, or you are trying to decide between immediate options, one session can be enough to help you explore your thinking fully and make decisions.

You may then feel at a later stage that you would like coaching on another issue, or the same issue if you keep hitting a wall. Coaching can help with the walls too.

Or you may like regular coaching once every few weeks for a period to help you through major decisions or issues, and as a support framework to help you progress your work. You can try one session and see how it goes.  

How much preparation do I have to do?

For each session, you may come with a clear idea of what you would like to explore and make progress on, or a more general notion of what you would like to change. Your coach can help focus your thinking. For ongoing sessions, you may update the coach on your progress, any new issues, and what the priority is that you would like to focus on in today’s session.

What do I need to bring to a coaching session?  

All you need to bring is an idea of what you would like to discuss and make progress on. A pen and paper is handy for noting your options and actions too.

What happens in a coaching session?

At the beginning of the hour-long session the coach will ask what you would like to focus on in today’s session. For the next 50 minutes or so, your coach will ask you detailed questions, probe your answers, and help you think about things in new ways. Towards the end you’ll recap what has changed for you during the session. 

Is coaching the same as mentoring?

No, although they share aspects of helping you develop. Mentoring is usually a longer-term relationship where you look to learn from the mentor’s experience. Coaching is more of an equal relationship. The coach supports your development by stretching and challenging your thinking. You are in control, and you decide what to focus on at each point.

Will my coach tell me what to do?

Your coach may ask you if you would like to consider certain options. But it is up to you to choose how you progress. Coaching is all about helping you find the answers that specifically fit you. Another person’s experience can be helpful, and a guide, but your experience of your writing, what you want to achieve, where you currently are with your writing and where you want to go next is primary.   

Will the coach look at my writing and make suggestions?

No. Coaching is about your writing life, your approach, your issues and goals and your development as an artist. It isn’t about editing your work. It aims to impact your work and progress on a broader scale. 

Are sessions confidential?

Yes. Sessions are entirely confidential.