You may wonder if you could be someone’s personal writing coach, helping them figure out their story and polish their manuscript. Or, you may consider it an ideal job for a professional writer who wants to transition into coaching. Either way, becoming a writing coach is a distinct possibility—and not at all as daunting as you might think. It’s an ideal job for someone who values their time and seeks opportunities to grow and evolve. It’s a great job for someone who loves to write and is passionate about helping others do the same. And it’s a perfect fit for someone who wants to be a literary agent or publisher someday. In this article, we’ll discuss the nuances of becoming a writing coach, including the specific skills and knowledge you’ll need to become competent. We’ll also touch on the potential responsibilities and challenges that come with the role. So, let’s get to it.
Understand the Nature of Writing Instruction
Before we begin, it’s important to understand the difference between teaching someone how to write and coaching someone to improve their writing. Teaching someone how to write is a legitimate and important endeavor—one that can benefit both the student and the teacher. It can be immensely valuable for someone who is brand-new to writing to learn the ropes from someone who’s been there, done that, and has the experience to share. In this sense, teaching someone how to write is similar to teaching someone how to ride a bike. You can’t really coach someone to ride a bike, but you can teach them the fundamentals of cycling and how to apply them in the real world.
On the other hand, coaching takes things a bit further. It entails helping someone improve their existing writing, suggesting improvements and tweaking ideas to suit the individual needs of the student. This could entail helping them figure out the structure of their story, polish their plot, or develop their characters. It could involve giving feedback on their work, offering advice, or guiding them through the writing process. So, while a teaching position can be viewed as a stopgap measure, coaching is more of a long-term endeavor; one that could potentially enhance their teaching and mentoring skills. As a writing coach, you can help your students identify their strengths and weaknesses, learn to be more effective communicators, and polish the stories that they share with the world.
The Specific Skills You’ll Need
Depending on your desired career path, you’ll need to develop certain skills and knowledge. To begin with, you’ll need to consider developing your ability to listen. Listening is an important skill to have as a coach, particularly when helping students who may feel insecure or intimidated by a more senior coach or mentor. Being able to put yourself in your student’s shoes and understand their perspective is invaluable. It allows you to provide better and more effective coaching.
In addition to listening, you’ll need to develop other skills such as observation and analysis. To be able to observe and analyze something, you’ll need to start by gathering as much information as possible. To do this, you’ll need to read books, articles, and reviews on the topic. Once you’ve got your hands on as much information as possible, you can begin analyzing it and coming up with conclusions. From here, you can develop recommendations or ideas for your students. This may entail giving them specific feedback on their work or suggesting specific books, articles, or reviews to read. If you decide that coaching is the right fit for you, consider asking your current employer for a reference or contacting educational institutions and trade unions for recommended jobs. With the right education and training, you can begin your coaching career and help your students to become effective writers.
The Potential Responsibilities
Depending on your desired career path, you may be responsible for handling a variety of matters. As a writing coach, you may be asked to help students with various aspects of their story, polish their plot, or develop their characters. You may also be expected to give them feedback on their work. Depending on the size of your school or company, you may be expected to train and educate others on how to use your software applications, create documents, or conduct searches. So, while the exact responsibilities will vary by employer, you can expect to be called upon to help students with various aspects of their writing. You may also be expected to read and analyze books, articles, and reviews. In some cases, you’ll even be expected to coach individuals on how to write. This can be an incredibly valuable skill to possess.
As a writing coach, you’ll undoubtedly encounter certain challenges. One of the most significant challenges you’ll face is finding the time to coach students. Depending on your desired schedule, you may find it difficult to juggle student coaching with your other activities. However, that’s a challenge that can be overcome with proper planning and organization. Another significant challenge you’ll face is maintaining a certain level of expertise on a constantly evolving subject. Regardless of whether you decide to specialize in British literature or American literature, you’ll need to stay abreast of the latest trends and fashions in literature and have the skill to pull it off. It’s not like riding a bike, where you can simply jump on a triathlon bike and go for a ride. Literature is a constantly evolving subject, change is constant, and you’ll need to remain knowledgeable to provide the best possible service to your students. This brings us to the next point.
Long-Term Career Potential
If you decide to pursue coaching as a career, you’ve certainly taken the right path. There are countless opportunities out there for you to help other writers polish their stories, sharpen their prose, and evolve as communicators. And best of all, you get to do it all while being your own boss and setting your own hours. That’s pretty cool, huh? Plus, if you’ve got the skill to become a good coach, you’ve got an incredible opportunity to do some good in this world. Imagine if there were no more illiteracy in the world. What an incredible gift that would be! So, whatever your purpose in reading this, I hope you’ve found this article illuminating. Don’t forget to stay tuned for future articles detailing more about this fascinating career!