Coaching-to-write - professional coaching services

Jo Zebedee

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As if I have time to be bored, I've taken the plunge and started something I've been planning for a while and have started a coaching service for writers.

What's coaching - it's a form of development, led by the individual and supported by the coach. It explores barriers, sets goals and provides a professional confidential space to do so. It's useful when career goals are being set, when things are hard and the way forward is difficult to find. It is not an editorial service, or a service to teach you to write (but could support either process eg if someone isn't sure of their editorial way forward.)

My experience? I've been a coach for ten years, am fully qualified (via the Institute of Leadership and Management) and coach regularly in my consultancy work. I also quality assure other coaches and provide verification of courses in coaching.

In addition, I've released three books to date with 2 more coming out in the next year, to fantastic reviews. I've trad published and self published, have a blog that's well subscribed to, and knowledge of the platforms to support writing and the publishing industry.

The facebook page is here and should anyone be interested - or know of a writing friend who could benefit from such a process - I can provide references.

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Hey Jo! I will definitely keep this in mind, and I think there is a good chance I might consider this for a bit later in the year. You mentioned it's not a service to teach a person how to write, which is understandable...but in case anyone is wondering the same thing as I am, I just want to make sure - would you accept writers from a wide spectrum of experience levels? Beginners to semi-pros?
It sounds like an exciting undertaking! Best of luck with this!! :)
 
Hey Jo! I will definitely keep this in mind, and I think there is a good chance I might consider this for a bit later in the year. You mentioned it's not a service to teach a person how to write, which is understandable...but in case anyone is wondering the same thing as I am, I just want to make sure - would you accept writers from a wide spectrum of experience levels? Beginners to semi-pros?
It sounds like an exciting undertaking! Best of luck with this!! :)
Thanks, Cat'sc

Absolutely, coaching is tailored to suit the person's goals so level of experience isn't relevant. For instance, if someone approached me hoping to start writing for the first time, we'd look at what skills they had, and how their life supported that goal, and then explore how they might be able to do that. Goals would be set and the coaching would focus on meeting those goals, providing support and encouragement and a reflective space to do so. The coach facilitates but they also look at existing skills and obstacles, and things like the type of learning and activities that would suit the person.

Some people use it when they find themselves mired down and want to find a path forwards, some when confidence is low and they feel they need support, some when they're first learning a new skill and need an experienced person to advise.*

*but the key with coaching, and why it's different from being taught or trained, is that the coach isn't the person who decides on the path forwards. They give space for the person being coached to do that, although the coach will help to explore options and to clarify the actions. But it's an empowerment tool, not just developmental, so it's important it's led by the person seeking the coaching. (A bit like the adage about giving a person a fish, or teaching him to fish...)
 
Hi Jo,

Just curious, is this application of coaching to writing fairly novel? Have you heard of it being done before? I've heard of life coaching, esp in management, but not of the idea being specifically applied to writers. I always like to hear about people trying new ideas, or new applications of existing ideas, and I think you could be on to something with this. I'll be interested to hear if you find many serious takers, and if it helps them reach their writing goals.

Good luck.

ABS
 
Hi Jo,

Just curious, is this application of coaching to writing fairly novel? Have you heard of it being done before? I've heard of life coaching, esp in management, but not of the idea being specifically applied to writers. I always like to hear about people trying new ideas, or new applications of existing ideas, and I think you could be on to something with this. I'll be interested to hear if you find many serious takers, and if it helps them reach their writing goals.

Good luck.

ABS

I haven't seen another service quite like it, although am applying to be a mentor for an organisation within the creative arts. Also, things like art therapy would occasionally use coaching skills (but that's not what I'm offering - I'm not a therapist, nor is that what coaching aims to provide.)

Basically I provide coaching all the time to people producing large pieces of work - project management/ executive summaries/change management programmes - as well as various career paths. I've never done life coaching but professional coaching which is what made me feel it was an appropriate tool for writers. It occured me that there is little difference between any of that and a writing career and certainly the same coaching skills apply.

In fact, given how much of a writing career is self-reliant, and so diverse in how it can be approached, I felt it to be the perfect tool to support that. I've had some interest and we'll see where we go from there. :)
 
From what I understand of coaching (very little :whistle:) I think you're spot on - assisting the individual to achieve their aims, whatever they are and whatever their skillset is. (I've always thought of it as professional friendship with added nagging, guidance and support :)) I think you're spot on about offering that to writers who need something to help them reach their goals, and as it sounds like you've got an untapped market, then (y)

My only thought would be how big a market it might be - most amateurs probably won't appreciate the potential benefits or be able to afford it, and most professionals would have already proved they don't need it. On the other hand, as it sounds like you're not trying to make a living from just that, then it could be a really nice expansion of what you're already doing.

Hope it goes well.

ABS
 
From what I understand of coaching (very little :whistle:) I think you're spot on - assisting the individual to achieve their aims, whatever they are and whatever their skillset is. (I've always thought of it as professional friendship with added nagging, guidance and support :)) I think you're spot on about offering that to writers who need something to help them reach their goals, and as it sounds like you've got an untapped market, then (y)

My only thought would be how big a market it might be - most amateurs probably won't appreciate the potential benefits or be able to afford it, and most professionals would have already proved they don't need it. On the other hand, as it sounds like you're not trying to make a living from just that, then it could be a really nice expansion of what you're already doing.

Hope it goes well.

ABS

yes - the market is what I'm not sure of. Aspiring writers are often penniless. Professional writers, though, are another possible market - because we can all get stuck sometimes, or lose confidence, or need a career change. Most of the people I coach are senior level managers who need a space to develop and have exhausted many conventional routes.

Luckily, I'm not relying on this for an income! Basically over the next few years I hope to move some of the consultancy I do over to writing consultancy, but it can happen very slowly (or even not at all - I quite like my day job). But at this stage, I think I have some training lined up, possibly some mentoring, and this coaching. We'll see how it all goes!
 
One of my American writer friends had a writing coach for awhile. Not sure what it entailed or how it turned out.
 
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