The Next Writing Relationship You Need

All writers need a supportive community, but sometimes it can be tricky to know what kind of help you need. If you feel frustrated, stuck, or unsure of your next steps, a writing coach may be the next person to add to your team. 

It’s easy to confuse a writing coach with other support roles a writer needs, such as an editor, teacher, or critique partner. Let’s explore how coaching differs from other writing relationships and why a coach is the next writing relationship you need to make real progress. 


A coach is not an editor.

An editor is focused on the work you produce. They offer in-depth feedback on your writing, and then you make changes based on their suggestions. An editor will help shape your article or book into a stronger piece, but they won’t help you overcome the hurdles associated with writing it.

On the other hand, a coach is focused on you, the writer. They will help you identify and overcome writing hurdles, offer strategies for time and project management, and guide you through any difficulties you face with your current projects.   


A coach is not a teacher.

The best coaches do not teach from a prescribed curriculum. Instead, they identify your individual strengths and weaknesses and help you develop strategies for your unique situation. Teachers focus on giving you the material, while coaches focus on the personal and professional growth of the writer. 

Hope*writers Director of Coaching Kate Riney says, “The difference between a coach and a knowledge expert, such as a teacher, an advisor, or mentor, is that a coach doesn’t have to be an expert . . . . There’s no such thing as an expert in you and your writing life. In that way, you can’t find a knowledge expert.” 

A coach will help you discover that only you are the expert on your writing! 


A coach is not a peer critique partner.

Some writers make the mistake of hiring a coach anticipating that the coach will read their work and provide a critique for improving the piece. If you’re interested in feedback from fellow writers, a peer critique partner is an appropriate choice. 

However, if you feel stuck in your writing life and want to make progress toward your goals, a coach is the answer. Coaches ask powerful questions to help you uncover the strengths, resources, ideas, and solutions you already possess. They empower you to assess where you are and, with their guidance, where you could be as a writer.

Whether you're just beginning in your writing journey or you're a seasoned pro, a writing coach is an invaluable relationship to add to your supportive community. Writing coaches can help you discover what you really want out of your writing life and chart a clear path toward reaching your goals without getting overwhelmed. 


Is hiring a writing coach your next step to making progress? Click here to learn more about working with a hope*writers Certified Coach and book your first session today!


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