Who Ever Said Writing Was Hard? Everybody.
Writing a book is hard. Like, holy cow. I remember seeing that, over and over, in all the how-to-write books I read at a younger age. I knew it, but I hadn’t internalized it. After years of slogging through pages, I’m telling you the same they told me: it’s uber hard.
A lot of what’s hard about it is the way we all do it alone. We coop ourselves up in our bedrooms, offices, basements, sometimes even sheds, and write away. This is partly necessary, as distractions can destroy a book, but it’s also damaging if you don’t get a good balance between your mind and other peoples’ minds. I don’t just mean the social awkwardness that can set in, I mean the lack of other brains to bounce ideas off of or to validate your plot twists can train you to see two-dimensional.
Great books are not written in solitary. It may look like they are from the reader’s perspective, but there’s a reason books have a giant list of names in the Acknowledgment section. And those are only a fraction of the people who had a hand in making that book what it is. Like any other business, writing is not done in a vacuum.
Consider why people hire fitness coaches. They can work out at home, can’t they? Follow “15 Minutes to Easy Abs” on YouTube? Pump the weights that come out of the closet every few months? Sure. We all do that. But people who pay for a fitness service do so because they know it’s more effective. Abs are not easy and dumbbells won’t do anything for you that you’re not willing to do for yourself.
A fitness coach will first evaluate you and your and goals. They assess where you are and where you need to go. Then they’ll design a program to get you there. That means getting you in the mental zone of what it means to be fit, showing you the correct ways to move your body, and how to use the most effective positions to your advantage. They’ll get you jived about being active, put you amongst others on the same path as you, and help you avoid pitfalls that lead back into old habits. All of those things are invaluable.
That’s what a writing coach does for your writing. Your skills will take a leap ahead and coast on the forward momentum.
Writing Coaches Help With the Big Picture
A universal realization within learning is: you don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t know why your plot fizzled out at the end, you can’t fix it. As writers, we are often so intimate with our own work that it’s hard to pick out flaws. We need someone with fresh eyes to do that. A book coach’s job is to illuminate the mishaps and to teach you how to overcome them.
Beyond that, a book coach’s job is to guide you, inspire you, and be there for you when you don’t feel up to the task. And while encouragement is helpful, we also want to give you realistic expectations. If somebody had sat me down at an early age and said, “Look, if you truly want to be a successful writer, these are all the things you’re going to have to do,” I would have started out with a much healthier understanding of what being a writer entails.
I can tell you now, in my middle-age, that it goes far beyond just writing a story. There is a plethora of subjects to cover, each as impactful as the last: self-discipline, confidence and positivity, time management, business fundamentals, blogging, marketing, formatting, querying, and on and on and on.
Working with a coach means you don’t have to spend a decade learning all these things. We sit down with you and explain what each is, why it’s important, and how to get a leg-up. We bring years of experience to the table to give you professional insight, help uncover what’s not working for you, and turn your book into the book it’s supposed to be.
Writing Coaches Help With the Technicals
If you’re an analytical person, you’re wondering, specifically, how can a book coach help you finish your book.
First and foremost, we teach you the craft of writing. That includes everything to do with character, setting, conflict, and style. That includes getting that word count on the page (the actual act of writing!) which entails goal setting, accountability, and hitting deadlines. Whether you’re stuck part way through, or peering down the road, a writing coach helps you reach “The End.”
When we look at a work-in-progress, we monitor for issues both broad and specific. We look for what you may not know you don’t know, and we teach you techniques to correct it. Some of the errors we help identify and fix are:
- Plot gaps
- Structure issues
- Language hitches
- Flat dialogue
- Unsatisfying ending
- Unrealized voice
- Poor pacing
- Lackluster characters
- And lots more
We Do All This and More
At Conquer Books, we understand that it’s hard to finish a book. We want to help you with that, but we don’t stop there. We strive to put our skills in your hands so you know what to look for in the future. We strive to create a relationship with our writers so our coaching lasts.
After all, it isn’t just about writing a story.
It isn’t even just about writing a great story.
It’s about becoming a writer.