When I started my writing journey, I was on my own, isolated, and clueless. I knew I wanted to write, but beyond that, I had no process in place, no idea how to start, and publishing was something ‘other’ writers did.
Once I began connecting with the writing community, I discovered a world of advice and support that’s carried me from newbie to a multi-genre author with a traditional publishing contract.
My author journey has now evolved to include a book coaching service. I now have a platform to help other writers bring their books to life and begin their own journey.
How many times have you started writing your book only to run out of steam? Have you lost interest in your work mid-way? How many unfinished manuscripts are languishing in your desk drawer?
Having an accountability partner in your corner helps to keep you moving forward with your project. It allows you to revisit anything that isn’t working and correct it before any writing blocks occur. The regular check-ins are vital for maintaining motivation.
A book coach will set writing goals with you and hold you to the deadlines you create. They are the voice in your ear that makes you sit your bum in the chair and crack on! On top of the accountability, they will also encourage, guide, and support you in various ways.
The mind monkey chatter can be intense when writing a book. You’ll hear ‘why am I bothering’ and ‘it’s all been said before’ swirling through your mind. A book coach offers a shoulder to lean on and a sounding board as the wave of uncertainty hits.
Besides setting a deadline and keeping you focused on your book, you’ll also need to submit portions of your work depending on how your coach works. With my group coaching programme, I get my clients to submit 1200 words every week.
Getting honest and regular feedback from a coach is vital. You are too close to your own project to see the holes or tangents. My work is always critiqued so I know I’m on the right lines and delivering the book I’ve promised my readers, and this is a service I offer in return.
The idea of someone else reading your work can be a huge stumbling block for many new writers. Embracing a coach’s safety net allows for a gentle support system to be put in place, which will encourage your creativity.
If you work with a coach who rips your work apart and adds fuel to the mind monkey chatter, then you’ve got the wrong coach! Critiques should help you navigate from a structural level and strengthen your language.
We all need to feel inspired as we unleash our creativity. Knowing that your book coach is walking the same path as you can be a huge benefit.
Reading widely and recommending the best books that will motivate you as you write is something I love to do. My clients know all about my ‘sharing the book love’ mantra!
A book coach should be an avid reader, and it helps to know they also understand the writing process. If you can’t meet a deadline because your kids are poorly or the car broke down, it’s nice to know they understand and can empathise. They will have navigated the same highs and lows while trying to meet a deadline of their own.
Be inspired by the dedication they put into their creative process.
I run a monthly creative writing accountability coaching club for women. I find the energy of group work to be a powerful element when writing a book. Here’s how the club works:
We start off with a 1:1 appointment where we do an in-depth strategy session pinning down your book idea, ideal reader, writing goals, and a detailed outline for writing your book.
I use workbooks in my coaching calls as I find writing down your goals, deadlines, and challenges can really focus your project. We use the group coaching calls to discuss any areas that you may be struggling with, or elements of the writing craft that you need to know. All coaching calls are recorded and shared if you can’t make the live sessions.
Every month we have a co-writing session for three hours (usually a Sunday morning) where you give yourself the time and space to sit your bum in the chair and write. Think of this as a virtual coffee shop where you and your fellow writing pals get together to work and offer feedback.
Our catch-up calls are a quick check-in to make sure everyone is doing okay and moving forward, but they are also the chance to hear our guest speakers. I invite experts from the writing, editing, design, publishing, and marketing industry along to chat about all things book related. These calls are recorded and shared if you can’t make the live sessions.
Think of this as ‘base camp’ where you can show up to watch the replays, ask questions, get honest feedback, and learn more about writing and publishing. We have a mix of ladies in the membership who are writing a variety of genres (non-fiction, fiction, memoir, business books, self-help, and children’s books).
“Shelley continues to give support and offers regular golden nuggets in her ongoing writing and accountability group. Shelley knows her stuff and highly recommend for anyone who is looking for support with writing.” Paula Caroline
Yes, you could write your book on your own and not pay a penny. You could also be in the same position two or three years from now having not moved forward.
The investment you make in yourself and your book is money well spent. The skills you learn in my accountability coaching club can also be revisited for future projects.
The membership is a rolling group at £49 per month. I ask for a minimum three month commitment, but beyond that you can stay for as long as you need that accountability, support, and honest feedback.
It’s worth noting that I’ve had clients pay for my 90-minute Strategy Sessions over and over again (£197) as they pick up long-forgotten manuscripts and start over from scratch. My strategy sessions are a great way to get started, but you will need to be self-motivated to take what you learn and keep going. It’s something I see time and again. If they had invested in the membership, they might have had one or two books in their catalogue by now!