19 November 2015

What is writing coaching?

What is writing coaching?

When I think about coaching in general, what comes to mind are those sports coaches in the movies who yell at the players, telling them what to do and calling them names if they aren't working hard enough. 

This isn't that. 

It's not my job as a coach to make you do anything or to shame you if you fail. A writing coach is a partner in and a witness to your process. My job as a coach is to help you articulate goals. It's to help you identify strengths and areas to work on. It's to brainstorm strategies with you and provide a system of support and challenge for following through.

Writing coaching is about your writing and how it fits into your life as a whole, not just about a particular writing project. What do you want your writing life to look like? What do you need to know and be able to do to make it happen? What are your resources and limitations? The coaching process involves using the answers to those questions to formulate a plan, stay on track, make adjustments where necessary, and celebrate your accomplishments.

Examples of work that we could do within our coaching relationship:
  • Determine the cause(s) of your writer's block and develop strategies for overcoming it
  • Figure out how to fit writing into your schedule
  • Find - and learn to appreciate - your unique writing voice
  • Identify your strengths as a writer and capitalize on them
  • Learn and practice new skills for making your writing snap, crackle, pop, & ka-BOOM
  • Finish your writing project

What to expect 

The coaching packages are designed to provide a system of support, challenge, and accountability. Each coaching session and email check-in involves a report on your progress and challenges since the last session and tasks to accomplish by the next session. Voice or video sessions may also involve my asking clarifying questions to learn more about your process, help you identify what’s not working, and brainstorm alternative strategies. The result over time is a transformative experience that leads to a better understanding of what kind of writing life you want and what you need to do to have it.

Even though I manage a group of editors and writing coaches, I reached outside of my circle and contacted Sione because I was impressed with her positive attitude and her level of confidentiality in regards to client material. We set up a program to work together for 6 months, focusing on my writing goals and challenges, many of which pertained to time-management and putting my writing ahead of other projects. I found Sione’s techniques, insights, and approach so helpful that I continued to work with her for a full year. At the end of the year, I had one more request for a full developmental edit of my novel. Sione is gem. As I once said to her, My PhD program taught me how to write, but Sione Aeschliman taught me how to be a writer. She is gracious, professional and innately gifted. 
 – Kristin, PhD, writer of literary fiction & poetry 

When you contact me to inquire about writing coaching services, I'll want to start with an initial consultation to learn more about who you are, what you write, what your aspirations and challenges are, and what kind of support you need. You may not have all the answers right away, and that's okay. We'll start from what you know and go from there. And of course you'll also have the opportunity to ask me questions to help you determine whether I'm the right coach for you. 

After our consultation, I'll email you my notes as well as recommendations for a coaching plan. If you choose to hire me as your coach, we'll sign an agreement, you'll make your first payment, and our work together will begin.

Sione didn't share my belief that I had nothing worthwhile to say; instead she insisted that I continue to take the steps I needed to write, even if those steps were small. She helped me realize that what I am experiencing in this moment contains enough to write stories – I don’t need to go looking for it in writing books. Using gentle but steadfast encouragement, Sione helped me discover and remove my own obstacles to writing.
- Diane Gilman, writer of fiction & non-fiction

Please note: While feedback on your writing might be part of our coaching agreement, the purpose of the feedback is not editing; rather it is to support the process of setting goals and making progress toward them. If editing is what you want, please visit my Editing Services page.

Ready to explore writing coaching further? Email me at sioneaeschliman (at) gmail (dot) com. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment