When I started my writing journey, I was convinced that it was a solitary gig. I spend hours and hours alone, writing up a storm. While I still enjoy that immensely, I now know writing is a collaboration. Sure the stories come from my mind, but I get help polishing them into the books you can read.
Along the way, I was able to speak to a lot of people that shared their unique insights with me. I feel blessed that so many shared their creative views, processes, and approaches with me. It helped me grow tremendously.
From that gratitude, I realized that I could do the same for others. So I decided to help people by coaching and writing down my tips and tricks. This has caught the eye of Oliver Adams, who runs the creative writing website Letter Review. He saw what I do and asked if he could interview me. How cool is that?
Forced to think
Oliver asked me questions about coaching creative writers. He wondered what got me into it and why it would matter. Even though I have been helping people for a while now, I never stopped to formulate this for myself. So the questions were confronting in a good way. I can safely say that they were eye-opening.
I think the most interesting question for me was if anybody can be a writing coach. This touches on some of my life views. You see, I believe that every person can be anything they want. On top of that, I believe that everybody has something valuable to share. Every single person, young or old, sick or healthy, experienced or beginner.
Why? Because every person experiences life differently. Nobody can tell things from your perspective, but you. Others, however, will resonate with that. There is always somebody out there who needs to hear your message. So yes, I do believe that anybody can become a writing coach.
Do I think it is a smart idea? Not necessarily. I think that experience in the topic you want to coach on is crucial. If you have no insight information to share, you are adding little value. I do not believe I would be a good tennis coach, for example. I know very little about the game and even less about playing it.
Does that mean I can never become one? Of course not, if I deep dive and commit to it, I can be a successful coach within a year or two. It all comes down to what you know, how you make it your own, and what you do to lift yourself higher. What is the added value and are you willing to share that with others?
This interview forced me to think about those fundamental questions, which I very much enjoyed. It was challenging.
Besides regaining new insights, or rather vocalizing them, the questions made me happy. Oliver probed at me in a way that felt uplifting. He left me plenty of room to share my thoughts, and explain my point of view.
I might have struggled a bit with the question of why people should hire a writing coach. Not because I do not see the value, but because I do. Every author, at one stage of their journey, will feel the need to discuss their work with a person that is not a loved one. Friends and family can only do so much for you. But they are (generally speaking) not professionals, and they will remain biased.
Brainstorming with people who bluntly tell me why something will or will not work is a delight. People who ask questions that make me stammer help me figure out where my story is lacking body. I am grateful for the people that do that for me, and I love to be that person for others.
So why did I struggle? Because to this day, I find it hard to ask for money for my services. I know I bring tremendous value to the table and am worth every penny I ask (I might even undercharge), but it remains a struggle. My driving force is to help other people grow, but I also need to eat. It os a deliquiate situation.
Luckily my internal struggle does not keep me from enjoying coaching other authors. I feel very blessed that Oliver dived into that as well. This allowed me to bounce and beam around a bit and makes for a perfect ending to a wonderful interview.
I am glad to add this experience to my list and Oliver to my network. I highly recommend you to check out the interview and let us know what you think. You can find it here:
I also recommend that you check out Oliver’s website while you are there. He has other insightful interviews and amazing writing tips, and he ventures into topics like screenwriting and poetry. Oliver even has his own YouTube channel, so check that out, where some of his articles are read out. His work is valuable, so I hope that you enjoy it!
For now, I will continue to bask in the afterglow of this new experience and wish you all happy writing.