Why You Might Need a Writing Coach
Let’s face it, writing is a lonely business. In many other professions people are surrounded by their peers. Not so for writers.
You’re stumped; you’re stalled out; you’re struggling. Is there anyone in your life who can serve as a sounding board? Even if you do pour out your writing soul to someone (a friend or relative), will they truly understand? Probably not. And oftentimes, going this route results in receiving bad advice.
The answer to the problem is a hand-holding guide who has traveled this road. One who knows the way and cares enough to aid you in finding your way.That pretty much describes a writing coach.
Norma Jean's wisdom and sound advice has helped me throughout my writing career. Under her guidance, I have learned my writing's strengths, its weaknesses and how to correct those weaknesses. Her knowledge of the craft is vast. She steered me on the right literary course, and I highly recommend her to anyone wishing to realize their dream of becoming a professional writer.
John Cunningham, Jr.
author of the Southern Sons – Dixie Daughters series.
What is a Writing Coach?
Before we discuss the writing coach’s role, let’s clarify what a writing coach is not.
A Writing Coach Is Not a Critique Consultant
During the course of a coaching session, a plot, or the structure of a book, may be discussed. However, that is not the core of the coaching process. If your primary need is to have your manuscript critiqued, you would be better off working with a critique consultant.
A Writing Coach Is Not an Editor
Some coaching time might be used for editing, but true coaching is a strong support system and isn’t focused solely on edits. If you feel you need editing for your book project, you may want to find a freelance editor rather than a coach. (You may need a coach at a later time.)
A Writing Coach Is Not an Agent
Your options for publishing your book will, obviously, come up during a coaching session; however, it’s not the goal of a coaching relationship to help you get published.
Now that those points are clarified, let’s discuss the true role of a writing coach.
- Cheerleader : As I mentioned, writing is a lonely business. I should know as I’ve been in the writing and publishing industry for nearly all my adult life (well over thirty years). Oftentimes, all it takes to get you moving forward is to know that someone is in your corner saying, “Yea you! You can do this!”
- Support: One of the definitions of support is: a thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone to help you bear the weight of this seemingly overwhelming book project? That’s part of the coach’s role.
- Guide: Ever take a tour through an underground cave? In that tour, did they at one point turn out all the lights? Would you want to try that without a guide? Yikes! A writing coach has been this way hundreds of times and knows the way. A guide through the darkened cave will help you find your way.
- Sounding board: Sometimes you just need to talk out your ideas, your plans, your goals, your direction. To hear your own voice speaking out what might be possible. Your coach will be your sounding board.
- Accountability Partner: If you tell yourself you’re going to write a chapter a week, and you fail to follow up—who cares? This is yet another aspect of the solitary life of a writer. If you’ve not as yet developed a strong writing routine, and a sense of discipline about your work, then you definitely need an accountability partner. That’s another role that a writing coach fills. Your coach cares enough to hold you accountable!
- Friend: Last but not least, you and your coach will become good friends. The entire relationship is built upon trust and mutual respect.
- Brainstorm ideas for your book and your writing process
- Techniques to help you become a better writer
- You’ll have a better grasp on how to organize your thoughts and your material
- You’ll step into a place where you start to love the writing process, and look forward to it.
Writing can be very personal and having an objective eye can mean all the difference in making a project ordinary to extraordinary. Norma Jean helped me by giving me a kind yet truthful perspective to my manuscript. She was able to see what I wasn't able to and with her help I was able to find the loose ends of my writing and complete my book. Not only was she able to see the overall goal for my book but helped me to pull my work together to achieve what I was aiming for in my writing. Her opinion and insight was extremely helpful and I highly recommend her to other aspiring authors.
Crystal Wood Campbell.
author of The Official Wife
Reasons Why You Can Trust Norma Jean to Serve as Your Writing Coach
I’ve been in the writing/publishing industry nearly all my adult life (over thirty years). I first began writing magazine articles and short stories, before moving to full-length books. I have over 50 published books to my credit. Some were published via traditional publishers, some under my own auspices as an indie author. Some fiction; some nonfiction. The reason I can serve as your guide is because I’ve been down this road; I know the way. I’m ready to take your hand and show you the way.
Teacher and Instructor
I began helping other writers very early on in my career. I discovered that I loved to teach writing almost as much as I loved the writing itself. I’ve taught at writer conferences all across the US, as well as conducting many workshops and classes locally.
For a period of nearly 10 years, I served on staff as an instructor for a well-known writing correspondence school. I took on the largest student load allowed by the school. My students were from all around the world. Again, I reveled in being able to teach and encourage up-and-coming writers.
My personality is that of an encourager. It’s in my DNA to reach out and give a helping hand, to be a good listener, and to offer instruction and encouragement. That’s how God made me. For fourteen years, I served as coordinator of the Professionalism in Writing School, an annual writers conference held in Tulsa, OK. I birthed this school because I saw the need for a platform where authors and editors could meet, and where budding authors could receive personalized attention and instruction. Many writers met their future editors through this school, and became published authors.
Norma Jean Lutz is a writing professional with a heart of gold and always the right words to express encouragement at the same time as she gives direction to others in the craft of writing. Norma Jean knows how to help the learning writer hone both the details that are so important, as well as the big picture that keeps the writing flying high and capturing readers' hearts and attention.
How to Determine Your Need for a Writing Coach
You have a book idea that’s inside you. It’s been incubating for a long time, but you’re not sure how to get started.
You’ve made a good start on your book idea, but then you stall out. You have no idea why you cannot progress through to the end.
You’re fine with the writing process, but you’re plagued with doubts and fears which render you unable to finish the project.
You know your own personality well enough to know that you just need a helping hand—or a kick in the pants—or both.
All you know is that you need help to get from here to there, and having a writing coach seems to be the best answer.
As a first-time author, I had no clue how to transform my rough manuscript into a salable, well drafted and readable novel. Then I was introduced to Norma Jean Lutz. She was spot on in offering valuable suggestions for continuity and to strengthen the storyline. I followed her advice in every way and now the book should be in print within a year. I thank God for this wonderful, talented and gifted lady. She will be forthright and honest in her analysis of your work. She’s a Godsend to have on your team. I cannot thank her enough.
Bill Donovan, author of The Bond.
Fiction and Nonfiction
Because I’m well-versed in both fiction and nonfiction, I can serve as your coach for either venue. I’ve helped scores of entrepreneurs launch their business books and ebooks.
I have only really begun my story, and I really want to continue with the motivation to finish it. I am currently reading through your 15-page writer's workshop, Don't Dilly Dally at the Starting Gate - How to Start Your Novel With a Bang. The title of this workshop has indeed described me. As I continue to read it I’m sure it will give me the kick start I need. As I look through your website and YouTube channel I am starting to feel the motivation to get back to my story. I really appreciate the support and help. Thank you so much Norma Jean for what you have done. GOD BLESS YOU.
Coaching Packages–Which One Best Fits Your Needs?
The economy package
2 sessions per month, 30 minutes each.
If you’re just getting started and a little unsure of how much you’re ready to invest into this endeavor, the Bronze Package is a great place to start. You can enjoy a sounding board, and also be held accountable.
This is the most popular package
2 sessions per month, 1 hour each
The Silver Package offers extra coaching time—time to enjoy more guidance, instruction, and encouragement.
High value package
3 sessions per month, 1 hour each.
Release your creativity into high gear. These in-depth sessions will propel you into the full achievement of your book-writing goals!
The Next Step
The next step is for you to fill out the questionnaire. There’s no obligation. The more you share, the better I’ll be able to help you. If you’re ready for a FREE initial 15-minute consultation to see if this is the right fit for you, indicate that on the questionnaire and we’ll chat.
Create your own user feedback survey
Be A Novelist Blog
If you’re not ready for a coach at this time, I invite you to visit my Be A Novelist blog site where you’ll find years’ worth of blogs containing writing techniques, ideas, and strategies to undergird and strengthen your writing skills. Check it out HERE!