Why having an effective writing coach is essential . . . and maybe a little scary
February 3, 2014
I started this business over a month ago because I saw an immense need in both business and academic environments: people need help with their writing tasks. We are writing constantly, and we are often selling this writing as a product (training materials, website content, articles) or using the produced writing as a platform to promote ourselves or our businesses (student papers, resumes, cover letters, blog posts, press releases, social media posts, social media profiles). It’s exciting to see so many people writing and so much content being created. When the writing is good, great things are happening for the organizations and individuals who have put the time and effort into learning how to write content effectively. Those who are clear on their intent, anticipate their audience, and understand their genre(s) are making great strides to reach their writing goals, whatever they may be.
On the other hand, there are organizations and individuals who are not reaping the benefits of good writing. They are floundering or just plain failing, and they can’t seem to make the kind of mark they are trying to make with their writing projects. There may be several reasons for this lack of traction, and these main causes can all be remedied by finding a good writing coach to guide the lost writers in the right direction. What’s going wrong? Here are a few possible maladies:
Fear. People are afraid of stepping into the light and showcasing their writing. It’s scary to put yourself out there as a writer and say, “I want to write a blog about indoor gardening” or “I’m going to promote my business with a press release about our new product offering.” When we lack context and knowledge, it can be scary to take on a writing task. A writing coach can work with you individually or with your group to help you overcome this fear and gain confidence in your writing. Having a dedicated resource, like a writing coach, to ask questions and bounce ideas off of can give you that added credence in your ability to write effectively.
Confusion. Maybe you don’t even know where to start. Understanding the genre within which you are writing is important, and having a professional writing coach to guide you is invaluable. Sure, you can Google “How to write a press release” and read over the hundreds of vague, semi-correct blog posts about press releases, but then what? Often, this just confuses writers more and leads to analysis paralysis. Having a reliable, clear writing coach to guide you through the mazes of information can lift the fog and get you thinking clearly about your writing objective. You will be moving in the right direction in no time.
Wordiness and Lack of Clarity. One of the complaints I hear most often from my clients and potential clients is that they would like to learn how to make their writing more clear, less wordy, and more streamlined. Introducing content into the world that is wordy and pointless will not gain the attention you are looking for; in fact, it will likely tarnish your reputation. A writing coach can work with you to isolate the patterns that your wordiness takes on (too many prepositional phrases? too many descriptors? Lack of call to action?) and help you eradicate the excessiveness.
Defensiveness. I’ve seen this over and over again. Most people know that they need help with their writing, but they are afraid of opening themselves up to be criticized. It’s scary to admit our own deficiencies, and sometimes when I’m brought into a company or assigned by a manager to help an employee, the writer feels like they are “deficient” or “remedial.” The unfortunate reality is that defensive writers are writers who do not improve because they are not open up to defining their own deficiencies. Once a writer opens themselves up to improving and acknowledges their need for help, a writing coach can work wonders with these writers.
Lack of Investment. Most of my clients have the self-awareness to ask for help, but once I get into a deeper understanding of their writing, thinking, and mechanics, I unearth issues they weren’t even aware they had. Often, they put off the investment in their writing skills for too long because they don’t see the ROI (Return on Investment) in terms of hard dollars and cents. Once the issues are remedied, however, they always tell me that the payback happens immediately. Having a writing coach there to holistically diagnose your writing issues and highlight your writing strengths pays back in increased efficiency, lack of costly errors, and depending on the writing context, increased revenue.
Working with a professional writing coach who knows how to quickly diagnose fear, confusion, lack of clarity, defensiveness, and lack of investment can be scary, but personal or group training is the most effective remedy in the end. Contact us at Typecraft today and let us help you with your specific writing training needs.