Do You Need a Writing Coach?

Updated on December 19, 2019

What Is a Writing Coach?

A basketball coach will help you to perfect your jump shot. A baseball coach will help you with your swing or your pitching motion. A singing coach (a shout out to Audrey Hunt) can help you to develop your voice, and a piano coach will help you with your note-reading and interpretation of various pieces.

So why not a writing coach, for those of you who wish to become better at your writing craft?

  • Could you use some mentoring as you slog through the book-writing process?
  • Do you find it hard to achieve your writing goals and finish your writing projects?
  • Do you need to improve your grammar, spelling, and punctuation, or do you need to work on structuring sentences and paragraphs?
  • Do you need help in developing a stronger voice, more realistic characters, or better plots, but you just don’t know how to do it?
  • Could you benefit by enlisting the help of a mentor who will provide thoughtful, honest, and constructive feedback?

Writing can be a lonely undertaking
Writing can be a lonely undertaking

Would a Writing Coach Be Beneficial to You?

You just might find a writing coach to be beneficial if you answered “YES” to any of those questions.

People often assume that hiring a writing coach implies that they’re incapable of writing on their own and need hand-holding. That may be true, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but a writing coach/writer relationship extends way beyond encouraging aspiring or veteran writers, holding them accountable or even teaching them about the craft of writing. It’s like having a partner on your creative team who has a fresh and objective perspective that can so easily be lost when immersed in a big project. Writers, when working on a project, often cannot see the whole picture. A writing coach still has a sense of the forest and not just the trees.

What Can a Writing Coach Do for You?

Writing coaches can help you in the following areas:

  • Critique material you’ve already written and provide ongoing, positive feedback on the growing pile of new pages or posts.
  • Help you organize your thoughts, enrich your work and find your voice.
  • Brainstorm ideas with you.
  • Help you design a realistic schedule and hold you accountable to target goals and dates.
  • Provide writing tips to help you focus as you work.
  • Help you bloggers assess your blog’s success and re-assess your approach as needed. Teach you to improve your writing.
  • Keep you motivated and focused.
  • Hold you accountable.
  • Make writing something you look forward to.
  • Help you navigate the SEO waters to find more readers and a larger audience

And any other aspects of writing you deem to be weak and in need of help.

“To excel at the highest level - or any level, really - you need to believe in yourself, and hands down, one of the biggest contributors to my self-confidence has been private coaching.” Stephen Curry

A good writing coach is like a beautiful sunrise for a dedicated writer
A good writing coach is like a beautiful sunrise for a dedicated writer

What Does a Writing Coach Cost?

Prices are all over the board with regards to the cost of a writing coach. I have seen best-selling authors advertising their services for $1,000 or more per month. I have seen teachers offering the same services for $25 per hour.

I have seen price structures based on particular tasks, and I have seen a monthly payment cover unlimited email/text/phone call sessions.

What most writing coaches will not do is help with editing and/or proofreading a manuscript. Consider a writing coach to be an overseer, more focused on the task of improving your skills rather than improving one particular writing piece.

Can you afford a writing coach? The only way to find out is to begin a search for one, compare prices, and determine whether it is worth it for you.

Do You Need a Writing Coach?

It is my opinion that all writers need a writing coach. Even those on the NY Times Bestseller List have writing coaches. Harper Lee had a writing coach. Steinbeck often worked with an advisor/coach. There are very few negatives regarding having a writing coach, other than the possible prohibitive cost. Writers have a tendency to get too close to their own work. They lose perspective and they never have an objective opinion about their own work. A writing coach can give you honest feedback and help you to hone your craft . . . if that is truly what you want to do.

How to Find a Good One

Ask around! Get recommendations! Do more than a Google search. Ask other writers who they think would do a good job for you. Ask at your local college. Join an online writing group and solicit opinions and suggestions. Ask people on this site, HubPages, who they would trust to coach them.

Do not pay a penny until you are convinced you are paying for quality help.

What’s It Like, Working With a Writing Coach?

I have coached writers on quite a few occasions. I have found it to be a rewarding experience on many levels. Making suggestions and watching the figurative light bulb turn on over the heads of my students, that is a great feeling; watching a student’s writing improve dramatically in a matter of months; seeing the joy as a student comes to realize that they do, indeed, have talent; these things are so incredibly rewarding for me as a coach.

Knowing that I have had a small part in improving someone’s skills is a pretty cool thing, and any writing coach you hire should have that same passion and connection with you and with your writing. If you find a good one, a bond will form, and you will begin to feel safe and secure. You will receive positive feedback and encouragement throughout the process. You will eventually begin to feel good about yourself and your abilities.

Priceless!

A writing coach will open up new possibilities for you
A writing coach will open up new possibilities for you

The Bottom Line

We could all use help!

I’ve been doing this full-time now for almost ten years, and I need help from time to time. I am a freelancer who actually makes enough money to pay my bills through writing, but still I need advice on certain projects. I write online material for a couple Fortune 500 companies, I’ve written eight novels, six novellas, 2,000 articles, and two non-fiction books, and I still need help.

We could all use help!

The only decision you have to make is whether you need or want help enough to pay for it, and how much you are willing to pay for that help. The help is out there if you want it.

Best wishes to you all along your writing journey.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Questions & Answers

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      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Manatita. The thing about that photo is that it perfectly captures her spirit.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        2 months ago from london

        Just an addition here. I think I'm falling more and more in Love with Bev and that picture. Maybe it's a combination of Bev and nature's majesty. Amazing! I see why you love it so much! I'm glad I did two pieces on it. Have a great weekend.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Always my pleasure, Denise. Thanks for being here and best wishes always.

        bill

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        2 months ago from Fresno CA

        I think I would benefit from a writing coach. I've been an editor/proofreader for other people but as we know, that's not the same thing. I've always felt my writing is so-so at best and would love to do better. I'll have to look into some prices and see what could be done. Thanks for the advice.

        Blessings,

        Denise

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Manatita! I guess, like you, teaching flows through my veins.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        3 months ago from london

        Frankly, you have already been coaching in so many ways! You will only be carrying on, better, perhaps, with what you already do. More kudos to you, Bro.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you very much, Liz, and Merry Christmas to you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I'm sorry to hear that, Lori. People are busy, unfortunately.....or at least busy in their minds. Merry Christmas to you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        They do add up for sure, Peggy. That's why I try to keep my charges to a minimum. Merry Christmas my friend.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        My pleasure, Devika! Thank you so much for stopping by.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        This is a very useful article for any writer. My first thought on your title was 'yes' and the rest of your hub confirms this.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        I wish I had the money because I could sure use the help. I can't get anyone to even look at my manuscript for their opinions, although they passionately say they will. Even the writing teacher that promised didn't follow through. Sometimes you just have to go through the trenches with blood sweat and tears and learn that way.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        3 months ago from Houston, Texas

        You would make an excellent coach. I read the forum the other day and like your idea of HP hiring you so that you could help all of us better our writing. In the meantime, lucky are those who will be paying you as their personal coach. I have worked with people at WordPress and also at GoDaddy to help me with things on my website. The costs do add up.

      • profile image

        Devika Primic 

        3 months ago

        I need a writing coach and you gave me all the ideas and areas one would need a writing coach for thank you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Sean, if one man's opinion is worth anything,I think you write quite well. You write with heart,and I will always consider that to be the key ingredient/talent.

        Peace always

        bill

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        3 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        My brother, Bill, I couldn't think someone else needing a writing coach more than me, primarily because of my poor English! That is as sure as that I can't afford one! Ha!Ha! Thank God there is a great guy with a mailbag full of help! Gratitude!

        Keep on rockin' Mr Mailman!

        Sean

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Shannon, thank you! I'll be around if you need me, until the day I'm not around, at which point I'll be buried. LOL Merry Christmas my friend.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        3 months ago from Texas

        Haha. There you go being a coach to encourage rather than discourage. Actually, I do agree with everyone else who says you've been coaching all along. If I ever hired a coach and you were available for the job, you'd likely be a first go-to choice. Why? I already know from experience that I could trust you for honest feedback. What you feel are strengths are my strengths and what you perceive as weaknesses likely do need improvement.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        It would be my honor, Dora! It already has been, my friend.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Don't think too hard,Eric! Go get a group hug to help you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        It has been an honor,working with you, Audrey. Your book is going to be a winner!!!!

        love,

        bill

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Holidays first, Mary, and then get down to business. :)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I will try to remember to do that, Heidi. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you John! It may have taken you awhile to get in gear, but once you did, you turned out to be one hell of a writer.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I think your plate is full, Shannon, a valid excuse for procrastinating in your writing.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        It really is a pleasure for me, Linda, but you are very welcome. I like to think we all help each other here on HP.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Really a cool concept. I will have to think on it. But I am not sure what to think on yet.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        3 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        I need a coach for just about everything. :) And, oh, boy, as far as writing goes...well, you know all about that...right coach?

        I can't imagine working with any other writing coach other than you, Bill. Talk about looking at the whole forest, I could only see one tree at a time and often only a branch here and there. Then I found you.

        Thanks so much for the shout out. Happy Holidays to you and Bev.

        Love,

        Audrey

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Personally, I believe in a writing coach especially when you want to grow as a writer. I would certainly get one, not just yet as I am on holiday.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        3 months ago from Chicago Area

        Excellent pros and cons evaluation for hiring this type of help! This might be of interest to our FB author group. Can you share it in an upcoming Tuesday Newsday comment? Thanks so much for all your support of our writing communities!

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        We use coaches for sport and just about everything else in lie. Gosh, there are even life coaches, so it just makes sense to have a writing coach as well. I Should have hired one ten years ago to kick me up the butt now and then and tell me not to procrastinate. Everyone else is right that you have been doing that job here for years out of the kindness of your heart through the likes of the Writers’ Mailbag, and have always been willing and approachable to answer questions. Great article.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        3 months ago from Texas

        I could certainly use a kick in the pants for procrastinating on...well, everything, including my writing!

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Bill, you've been doing this for years, every time you encourage us to spread our wings and fly. You've helped me countless times. Thank you for being you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I appreciate your kind words, Chitrangada Sharan.Thank you so much, and blessings to you always.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Excellent article about, why even the established writers, need some expert guidance, by the writing coach.

        You have been doing this selflessly, on HubPages, through your articles. Your writing career is wonderful, with so many published books, novels, articles etc.

        I am sure, you would be the best for such a coaching.

        Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Michele, that is very, very kind of you, and I thank you for it. I'm just doing what I was raised to do. Helping others was drilled in my head at a young age, and I'm happy that it was. There is great satisfaction in helping others, my friend.

        Thank you again, and blessings to you always

        bill

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Sha, I'll know that when I know that. I'm limiting my efforts right now to five or six. I don't want to cheat them because of a lack of time, so that's what feels comfortable to me.

      • misslong123 profile image

        Michele Kelsey 

        3 months ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

        Bill,

        You are an awesome writing mentor. If you ever need a referral, hit me up, because I would love to sing your praises.

        I have trouble making decisions, prioritizing my work, finishing projects, and understanding the writing process and world just to name a few.

        You have always been there to communicate, answer questions, and to guide me in the right direction. You constantly go out of your way to help me when I ask and to comment on my articles and to sing my praises to others!

        You are very impressive and I have never met anyone so helpful and caring to others who are struggling in this writing world. I think of questions to ask you and often forget to hit you up, but I know you will always lead me in the best direction.

        Thank you for everything you do not just for me, but also for others who have similar problems to me, and just to the world who needs to hear your words. You know how to reach out to people and help newbies in this crazy field. After all, it can be overwhelming and you know this!

        Keep it up! You are a shining example of success and I appreciate everything you have ever done for me!

        Regards,

        Michele Kelsey

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        3 months ago from Central Florida

        This is an eye-opening article, Bill. How many students can you take on without becoming overwhelmed but provide quality one-on-one time?

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Flourish! I try to make it affordable. I like to give back that which was given to me with love.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Ann, you are very kind.Thank you for that. I have grown as a writer. Even I can see that. It has taken hard work, and a determination to grow and experiment...and having a passion for writing certainly helps.

        I am humbled and honored by your words. Again, thank you my friend.

        bill

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thanks Pamela! I make my services affordable. I am not in it to get rich. I want to help others but still pay the bills.....you can email me if you have questions....holland1145@yahoo.com

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Louise, I can help you if you would like to talk about it...send me an email and we can work something out.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        3 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I can't imagine anyone not needing a coach for some projects. This is an interesting topic as I have not thought much about a writing coach, yet a blog I have worked on sure brings up questions as it is so different than writing an article for Hubpages. I am quite sure you would be a good writing coach Bill, assuming you are affordable. Haha!

      • louiseelcross profile image

        Louise Elcross 

        3 months ago from Preston

        Thank you Bill for writing this. I am on google right now looking for a writing coach. I know I am not fully found my voice but I will find it with a coach or a mentor.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 months ago from USA

        Everyone could use a coach to improve if they could afford it. Great topic for an article.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        3 months ago from SW England

        Great guide to the benefits of a writing coach, bill! There is much to be said for a fresh and unbiased perspective as sometimes it's too easy to get bogged down and even to read what we think is there rather than the actual words on the page!

        Your portfolio is impressive. I had no idea you'd published so much. Well done you! I remember the first article of yours that I read, the one about your house and building the levels. I was impressed then and your style was evident from the beginning. (Couldn't find that article when I last looked, though.) I'm even more impressed at your output now - not just the amount but that you've improved on your style and standards and everything! For me, you are in the top 3 on HP.

        Your impetus is amazing and you inspire so many others. You know what's coming...

        Brilliant!

        Ann

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