Tim O'Rahilly Life Coaching

Archive for September 2012

The Value of a Writing Coach

The writing life can be a lonely one. I’m probably not imparting any Earth-shattering revelations there – one of the most commonly-expressed sentiments about writing is that it involves long stretches of isolation and solitude. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The greatest asset a writer can have is another writer who operates on a similar wavelength to themselves; a friend, a colleague, a shoulder to cry on when things are going badly. A writer will understand your struggles better than anyone else – after all, they’re going through the same things themselves. They can also be an invaluable source of inspiration, or act as a sounding board when you need to try out new ideas.

Of course, not every friendship between writers will turn out to be so fruitful. Some writers work best alone. Some writers actually make terrible writing partners because they don’t know how to critically evaluate another person’s work the way they evaluate their own. Some are simply not very good at the kinds of social interactions necessary for such a partnership to work. (Writers being anti-social? Shocking, I know.)

This is where a different kind of partner can come in useful, one who has enough distance from the writing process to see problems and find solutions that might not be obvious to you. That person can be an editor, if you’re looking solely for help with the manuscript. Or they can be someone like a life coach, if you need help with those aspects of the writing life apart from the book itself.

But this post isn’t just a sales pitch. I genuinely believe that having a professional coach (or someone like a professional coach) can be of immeasurable help to struggling writers. Everyone can do with having someone who they know will always be in their corner, creative people in particular. The loneliness of the writing life has been the undoing of more potential authors than anyone could count.

At this point it’s important to mention what a writing coach isn’t. Specifically, a writing coach is not any of the following:

  • An editor – they cannot edit your manuscript for you.
  • An agent – they cannot place your books with editors for you.
  • A ghostwriter – they cannot write your book for you.

What a coach can do is help you clarify your goals, your aspirations, and your strengths and weaknesses. They can give you perspective about a part of your life that is extremely difficult to judge with any kind of objectivity. That might not sound like much, but it can be of immeasurable value.

So, here’s the sales-pitchier part of the post: a description of the services I offer as a writing coach. Interested? Get in touch! Or else get in touch with a coach who looks like they might be more your style. Whatever you do, don’t walk that lonely road alone.