In Search of a Coach

'25351092815_0_ALB' photo (c) 2008, Rappaport Center - license: I’ve landed a few marketing and content development clients.  I’m enjoying the work and the income is nice. I’m fortunate to have found enough work to fill many of the hours I have available to work. For now, it’s a case of having my eggs in only two baskets. That works short term, but is not a good strategy long term. It would make sense to expand my business marketing efforts to attract more of the same kind of work but, I don’t want to lose site of my love of creative writing.

It’s easy to get fixated on the income and stay in a certain track one where you know what to do and how to do it. I’ve done that in the past, but it hasn’t really worked out. I get bored and start to feel stuck. I’m a curious person and I love to stretch my creative muscles and learn new things. I do better when I’m working on project in difference spaces (not necessarily at the same time). One of my long term goals is to write and sell romantic fiction I’m also interested in exploring personal essays, creative non-fiction and articles, three very diverse markets. I’ve done some research and taken some courses so I feel like I have a basic understanding of what needs to be done, but I’m considering working with a coach to achieve my goals. I recognize the value in investing in my professional development and I think working with a coach could streamline my learning process and possibly expedite the time to publication.

Prior to starting my search for a coach, I’ve spent some time mulling some questions. My hope is that clarifying what I want upfront will simply the search, help me find a good match and insure a good return on my investment.

  • Here are some of the questions I’m thinking on:
  • Why do I want to work with a writing coach?
  • What do I expect to gain from employing a writing coach?
  • What specific expertise am I looking for in a coach?
  • Which skills am I looking to develop and which are my priority?
  • How much time per week/month can I realistically dedicate to working with a coach?
  • How much money am I willing to invest in working with a coach?
  • What kind of relationship am I looking for? Short term? Long term?
  • Do I want in person meetings? Phone Coaching? Email? A combination?
  • Do I want one on one coaching (more personalized, but more expensive) or will a group coaching situation work (less expensive, and less personalized, but with the added benefit of building more contacts).

Have you worked with a coach to develop or expand your skill set?  Is there anything I else I should be asking myself?

Lee Laughlin is a writer, wife, and mom, frequently all of those things at once. She blogs at She is currently a member of the Concord Monitor Board of Contributors.  Her words have also appeared in a broad range of publications from community newspapers to the Boston Globe. She is a member of the New Hampshire Chapter of Romance Writers of America and is currently at work on her first novel.

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9 thoughts on “In Search of a Coach

  1. I think I’d be asking myself some questions about the kind of person that would work for me
    E.g what background/experience of I need a coach to have ( skills /track record as a writer or just a skilled coach)
    Do I have a preference for a man/woman ?
    What kind of style would work for me/ not work for me?

    And questions for me:
    What will success look like for me?
    How important is this for me to achieve?
    How much time outside coaching sessions will I be prepared to give

    Hope this helps

  2. I think networking, joining groups, attending writers’ conferences, and other collaborative things of that nature could also be a good supplement.

    I have considered getting a coach just because, but not necessarily for the specific purpose of writing.

    Please keep sharing about this process and what you eventually decide to do.

  3. Hi! I’ve worked with coaches and am a certified empowerment coach. I’ve also coached one writer in my practice. You are asking the right questions as you search for a coach that fits your needs. Many will offer a free introductory call–take advantage of that benefit! Good luck in your search and happy writing! Kelly

  4. Hi Lee – those are some good questions to ask yourself as you decide on whether you want coaching and what kind of coaching. I am a coach (formerly, a clinical psychologist), writer and photographer. I love coaching people towards their full creative potential. The main advantage of having a coach is the accountability part – you set your own goals but you have someone to report to and who will hold you accountable, help you look at any blocks or barriers and be your cheerleader. If you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to e-mail me at Anaber99 at

  5. We sound sort of alike – I get bored with jobs, too. Very good at them, but after awhile, just couldn’t take the steady constant predictable repetition…the blah, blah blah, yawn. People thought I was nuts to walk away, but I like working contracts, shifting gears, and exploring different directions – it’s surprising how many skills overlap in different areas. Will be interested in our experience with a coach – I’d be cautious and ask their experience, credentials and such. Like your question list

  6. Hi Lee. I am coached (by an awesome coach) and I coach others. The question I would add to your list is this: what end result do I ultimately want? Meaning, what is your ultimate goal? Is it creative expression, having a long career in writing, to get a particular message out in the world? There’s no right answer. Your end result is unique to who you are, your gifts and abilities and what matters to you in life. I think it makes a big difference when you know what you are ultimately going for, it gives you a very accurate way of choosing a coach. If they are in alignment with your end result, you’re on the right path. Sometimes it can be tricky getting to the heart of your ultimate writing goal thought and that’s one thing I help people with.

    I wish you luck in your search.

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