HYPHEN offers two different kinds of services to writers. The first kind of service, editorial, is pretty clear—you send your work, we edit it, then send it back to you. But we get a lot of questions about the second set of services, coaching.
So it’s worth taking a moment to discuss some of these questions: What is a writing coach? Why should I hire one? What can a writing coach do for me?
Part of the confusion stems from the fact that a writing coach, in brief, is there to support you in whatever way you need during your publishing journey. So when you ask what a writing coach does, the answer could also be a question: what do you need them to do?
But to be more helpful, here are a few of the coaching projects HYPHEN is currently working on: helping a writer develop an initial concept into an outline and providing feedback on plot points, character development, etc.; assisting a writer with chapter-by-chapter revision based on feedback they received from another editor, as well as our own critiques; and guiding a nonfiction writer in the creation of a proposal based on their platform.
To speak metaphorically, an editor gives you the plans to build a house, and a coach helps you build it—handing you tools, suggesting tweaks, and even hammering in a nail or two along the way.
A writing coach can provide the following:
- Accountability—If you struggle with deadlines and need to be accountable to someone other than yourself, a coach can set assignments and follow up to make sure you’re staying on task.
- Brainstorming—A writing coach can provide ideas and act as a sounding board when you’re stuck, whether it’s on a major plot point or a character’s name.
- Feedback—When you hire an editor, your manuscript is already completely drafted. A coach can give you continuous feedback as you write or revise to help make sure you’re headed in a good direction.
- Resources—Whether you’re looking for an agent, searching for comp titles, or seeking assistance with craft, a coach can point you toward valuable resources.
HYPHEN always strives to be transparent, so you should know that you don’t have to pay someone for these services. A good critique partner (check out #CPMatch if you haven’t already) or writing group can help you with much of this. But if you’re struggling to find a reliable connection or you want professional eyes on your work, a writing coach could be the solution.
Email anytime if you have questions or would like to set up a phone consultation. And, if you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for our newsletter; we’ll be sending more writing tips your way this month.