The Art of Coaching a Writer

curving road There is magic in seeing another writer finish their book, knowing you had something to do with it. It’s like being a mid-wife, or taking your team to the winner’s circle. It’s the kind of service like no other, knowing you had a part in bringing another’s dream to fruition.

I came to coaching by chance. But then I like to think of myself as always having been a supportive type, encouraging others to take that next step towards their dream. So when the opportunity arose, it seemed natural to step into those shoes on an official basis.

road-blockMy first client was a friend I had met in a memoir class some years earlier who was stuck. She had made it to page seventy-five but hadn’t been able to continue. My second client had at least a hundred pages but she found herself stuck too. In each case they needed another pair of eyes to steer them over the hump. Blocks in the mind can be just as real as those on the road, but when it comes to writing, it is our perception that needs clearing. Their stories were of their own past, yet putting it into words brought out the kind of emotions that muddy thoughts and stymie good intentions.

My job as a writing coach also includes a fair amount of editing. I have always enjoyed doing my own revisions and had become quite adept at them. That “writing is rewriting,” seemed a natural part of the process and got no complaints from me. But I found I was also adept in editing the work of others and encouraging them to see more, remember more, and most of all to get to the heart of the matter with honesty and clarity.

My clients tend to be writing their first book and need help in organizing the material. I think writing one’s personal story has the added discomfort of writing about real living people, and the guilt that might ensue. Talking it out with a coach who is not emotionally involved is a great help in that case.

But who knows. Anything can hold us back if we are willing to allow it. My first client carried on and made it through her obstacles. My second client did not. Timing plays a factor, but commitment is everything. When we are committed we will persevere through all the hoops life throws at us.

Bringing your story or your book-in-progress to me is to step up to the plate on a bigger basis, a wider stage. Because you are saying in effect, I can do this. I want to do this, I see myself doing this, and I will do this. I will make my dream of being an author real.

I work with writers at all levels of development. There is no minimum or maximum amount of sessions. It’s up to the individual how quickly they want to progress. What I can promise is that I will see your potential. I will see the you that you want and intend to be, and I will encourage you to be that person every moment we are in contact.

There is always a path to completion. You will see it when you are ready. long_road

About Nancy Wait

Nancy Wait is an artist a memoir writer, author of "The Nancy Who Drew, The Memoir That Solved A Mystery," and a former actress (stage, film and TV) in the UK under the name of Nancie Wait. She once hosted the blog talk radio shows "Art and Ascension" and "Inspirational Storytellers." Her current project is a second memoir, "The Nancy Who Drew the Way Home."
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4 Responses to The Art of Coaching a Writer

  1. Nancy Seifer says:

    This is wonderful, Nancy!!! I love what you’ve written here and have forwarded it to a friend who was just beginning to look for a writing coach. She lives out west and was thinking of approaching someone she knows there, but it’s such a synchronicity,who knows?

    It looks like your new year is off to a great start. I wish you all the best as you undertake this new initiative. It’s so beautifully written that it will likely attract many responses.

    With every blessing and with much love,



  2. Tamera says:

    Awesome Nancy! Blessings to you in your “work”! May 2013 be filled with Midwifery & the Honoring & Developing of Soul Expressions in Bazillions of forms!


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