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So you are blessed enough to hire a writing coach? Great! You do not need a writing coach to write a book but now you are in the position to write your book better, quicker and more efficiently just like a personal trainer and food coach will help you get the body you want quicker than having to figure everything out by yourself.
The food coach will go with you to the supermarket, read the labels of every food product before you put it in the chart and make sure you don’t buy anything you are not supposed to buy. The personal trainer is there with you, to make sure you are doing the right exercises to achieve the body type goal you want and to see if you are doing the exercises correctly to avoid injuries. You still have to do all the work but you are not alone.
The same goes when you have a writing coach.
January of last year I started working with a writing coach on my novel. When working with a writing coach you are not alone. You check in with your coach every month. She reads your work and corrects mistakes, tells you what you are doing right and what needs to be improved. Instead of general pointers, you get advice specific for your situation.
This does not mean that it is going to be easy-peasy. You did not hire a ghostwriter. You hired a coach. You still have to do all the work. The great advantage is that you have someone experienced to guide you along the way.
What I want to tell you are the 3 emotions you will feel through the coaching.
1.Pain and disappointment
Having someone tell you what is wrong with your writing is painful. You are pouring your heart and soul on paper and when someone says that your writing is not good enough, it feels like if someone tells that your child is ugly. It is very difficult not to get defensive when someone points out your plot holes, grammar mistakes or lack of mastery of your writing craft. You realize that the fact that you have a fabulous story in your head, does not mean that you master the craft to put it properly on paper. You do not master the technique to switch from description to dialogue to plot point in a way that makes your story a page turner on paper. It is a huge blow to your self-esteem.
In my case, I had to start all over again and could only use some scenes of the first version of my story. I have spent a lot of days feverish after talking to my writing coach. Not because she was being rude or unkind in her criticism. It is because I was writing fiction for the first time. Art. And your art comes from your heart. When I got criticism from my professors when in university I did not feel this way. I did not take it personally. But art is personal. Deeply personal.
And you know that this is just the beginning. The writing coach, and later on, the editor and proofreaders are people you are hiring and are there to serve you. They are there for you to help you. Imagine what you can expect when your book is published. The people who pay to read your book are going to be a lot harsher
After a while, your skin gets thicker. Every time you hear about a mistake you make, you internalize the teachings and at a certain moment, you stop making that mistake. Your writing gets better. You will realize all the work your coach has put in your work. Then you will feel gratitude for how she has improved your work.
Then you are aware of your growth. You feel good. You are not there yet but you can see your improvement. You are not the same person you were at the beginning of the year.
Lots of love
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