Working with a writing coach can make you a better writer
Hiring a writing coach is the single-most important pivot of my writing career to date. Writing is heart-work for me, as much as it is employment, and I can’t imagine my life without it. So, when my fiction stalled and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, quitting wasn’t an option.
I found Jamie through a google search after writer Ryan Van Cleve wrote about his work with her. I visited her website, filled out a contact form, and within minutes she and I were talking. Jamie said the first thing we needed to find out was how well we work together and what kind of writing help I needed.
I like to say that in those days, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” Just answering her question was difficult because I wasn’t sure why my stories weren’t working. She quickly homed in on the issue: I was clueless when it came to plot (she said this gently) and my stories fell apart because they weren’t structured, paced, or developed.
The rest is ourstory: Jamie and I have worked together for over three years as coach and client and co-authored a book together with Joyce Sweeney. She is my dear friend as well as my book-confidant and it was an honor to interview her for the podcast.
Get feedback on your writing
Another benefit to having a writing coach is that it’s a source of feedback for your writing. One of the most frequent mistakes I see aspiring writers make is remaining isolated. Writing is already solitary, which brings its own emotional challenges. But when we allow our work to remain in an echo-chamber of our own thoughts and perspectives, we miss out on skill-honing suggestions and insight readers, editors, and coaches can offer.
Jamie and I discussed the need for feedback in the episode and I extended that content in the Companion Guide that pairs with our interview:
The ebook also includes helpful tips for what to do when you receive harmful or unsolicited advice and feedback on your writing.