verb

1. Meaning “instructor/trainer” is c.1830 Oxford University slang for a tutor who “carries” a student through an exam; athletic sense is 1861. v. 1610s, “to convey in a coach,” from coach (n.).

 

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Coaching gives structure to the writing process, offers emotional support when brain fog or rejection slips strike, and may offer you a whole new outlook from the second pair of eyes I provide.  We can also approach confidential issues you may want to write about that you would be hesitant to share in a group.
In addition, I direct your reading so that you are learning from master writers who will be good models or influences–for exactly the kind of writing you want to do. I work with writers for their first publications and then over time to first books and forward.
I also work with writers who have previously published books who like the individualized attention and accelerated pace that one on one tutorials provide.
Sessions are usually two weeks apart to allow you to process feedback from the last session and do some rewriting before you meet with me again. The great benefit of this structure is that you don’t have to labor too long on your own without checking in to make sure you’re on the right track. What is harder than working solo on hundreds of pages and then discovering that you need to change the tense or point of view? Part of each session is reading your work aloud to me so that you learn to self-edit, not only visually but with your ear.
Our personal dialogues in these sessions will help me direct you to words that are not yet on the page, or help you discover a truer intention. Writers who benefit most from coaching are able to receive professional feedback and persevere. They are open and ready to rewrite or do whatever it takes to create good, publishable writing.
Some writers are shy at first and I understand that (I’m a rather sensitive writer myself!) but I don’t bite (honest). Our sessions will be fun and freeing because they can go wherever you want them to, and you won’t have to wait your turn.  Another advantage:  You won’t have to feel that you are on a deadline to complete a given number of pages or even lines before you meet with me again. We will work at whatever pace you prefer, and one that fits with your lifestyle and budget.
You can always start or stop coaching when you like, but figuring out a regular schedule and committing to it produces the best results. It’s the best way to “use” what I have to offer because I stay close to your work. Once I am coaching you, I will be working for you in my head and watching for what you should read, or publication opportunities, etc. between sessions. I’m a mentor at heart. I love to discover and shape talent.
You will come to each coaching session with copies of the work you want to review for each of us. We will watch it evolve together, covering as much material as the time you schedule allows. I’m a gentle coach but also a realistic one. My editing experience prepares me to let you know how another editor may respond to your writing—as well as when it is ready to submit.
If you know anything about the coaching that musicians and vocalists receive, you know that, at the highest levels, this is always done one on one. This is also the model in which writers were traditionally trained and the way they worked with editors after a book was accepted for publication. This sort of relationship with an editor is sadly becoming less common. But, you can have one with me. We will work with the concentration on you and your gift, you and your work, in order to make it as professional as possible before you approach a publisher. If we discover that you want some instruction in craft or grammar along the way, you will get it.
Another way to look at this relationship is to say that I am a personal trainer for writers. I am not the type of editor who just shows you where unneeded passages can be cut. Neither am I a ghost writer. I am a developmental editor who will help you plot and create as you go along. The regular support and encouragement that a coach/mentor provides can keep you going at times when giving up looks like a good idea!

How It Works

Send me an email and we can set up a time for a free phone consult. Confirm you email with a phone message at 414-278-8933. You can tell me what you want to work on, where you are in the process, and a bit about your background as a writer. We can both assess whether we are a good fit. I will explain how sessions are structured and answer your questions. I may also ask for a 5 page writing sample. It is generally a good idea for you to schedule one or two sessions to get a feel before you decide if you would like something ongoing. Note:  All of my scheduling is done by phone.
Sessions are 60, 90 or 120 minutes long. These can be done in person at VCW or by phone. Writers pay me with cash or check at the beginning of each session.

Fees

Fees start at $75.00

The Vest Conservatory for Writers
2125 N. Newhall St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414-278-8933