Coaching Productivity

The Three Things I Focus on With All of my Coaching Clients

You’ve probably clicked on this post because you are curious to see what I’m working on with clients, and you may want to check if you struggle with the same thing. As an experienced writing coach, and author with a writing coach myself, these are the most common issues I see, have experienced, and continue to talk about. They require continuous work and effort, but they can all be improved hugely through coaching. Let’s dig in!

1) Imposter syndrome

The classic. The majority of creative people I have met, if not all, have suffered from imposter syndrome, myself included. Why? One big reason is that art is subjective. We aren’t mathematicians (you might be, but I’m not!), and the answer isn’t definite. Is my writing any good? Some people will love it, others will think it’s okay, and some will dislike it. Does that mean I’m a good writer or not? Hard to say, isn’t it? Especially when we constantly compare ourselves with the positive echo chamber of social media. Here’s the thing – there’s a book for everyone. I love The Lord of the Rings like I love my family (well, marginally less), but if you don’t read fantasy, I won’t expect you to enjoy it. It doesn’t mean I’m wrong in loving it or that you’re wrong in not liking it. It’s just subjective.

Here’s what we know for certain about your writing:

  • It is valid.
  • If you love it, there will be a reader who loves it too.
  • It is worth investing your time in.
  • You are the expert in your story.

If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, here are some things that can help:

  • Hire a writing coach. Find someone to discuss your thoughts and feelings with. Remember, feelings are not facts.
  • Write down five things you are proud of achieving in your writing life. Keep that list in your writing space to review when you feel wobbly.
  • Create a ‘Positivity Folder’. When you get good feedback on your creative work, put it in your folder. Then, the next time you feel unsure or like imposter syndrome is ready to strike, you can remind yourself of the reality with actual evidence.
  • Dig deep into education and focus on the craft of writing. Whatever stage of your writing career you are in, there is always more to learn, and dedicated time and effort to this can help imposter syndrome. Still trying to figure out where to start? Check out my novel writing masterclass. 

2) What they should be writing.

Should you be writing literary fiction or fantasy? Should you be jumping into crime thrillers or romance? How are you supposed to know?

I understand this dilemma well. I’ve been through it too! It’s so hard to know what’s expected of us, and sometimes, the weight of imagined expectations can hinder our creativity.

Here’s the secret: you should write whatever you are passionate about. Love vampire stories? Go for it. Ignore the marketing when you are writing, ignore the idea that something is ‘trending’ right now (by the time you get your book out there, that thing won’t be trending any more), and write something you want to write. Here’s another secret: if you write something you are delighted to be writing, it comes across in your work. It creates a joyful read. So, let yourself indulge in your hobbies. Trust me, there will be someone who wants to read about a mermaid who escapes jail to work at a zoo.

3) Finding the time.

Finding the time to write is such a common problem. Fret not; I have the perfect solution: The Ultimate Writer’s Planning Workbook. This 60+ page PDF fillable workbook will take you through the stages of planning YOUR writing year, focusing on:

  • Reflection on the previous year.
  • Building and understanding your writing vision.
  • Working out what your targets are and setting them.
  • Engineering your actions toward your goal.
  • Finding the time to write.
  • Taking action and setting yourself up to achieve your goals!

Sound good? Grab your copy today!


The Top 5 Things I Learned from Working with a Coach

Yes, I am a writing coach, so of course, I could tell you what you could gain from working with me…but I’ve already done that! (See the following blog posts – What Is A Writing Coach & Writing Coach vs Editor: What’s the Difference?)

So, today I thought I would tell you what I’ve learned from working with a coach myself.

I’ve repeatedly said that coaches should be coached, and there is a reason for this. To help others, you should be actively helping yourself. This means that you work on your mindset, are consistently learning about your practice, and putting yourself in the shoes of a client.

I am part of a beautiful coaching community for small business owners and have a personal coach. I have also recently hired a coach to help me with marketing specifically. There are so many coaches that specialise in specific niches now, just like my niche of writing, and it is wonderful to be able to work with experts.

So, here’s what I have learned through being coached.

1) Having space held for you can change everything. 

It’s not every day that you can expect someone to give you their full attention, and that’s fair enough. But, when they do, amazing things can happen. Coaching is a wonderful experience, and it’s partly because of this. Having someone hold that space for you, listen to what you are saying without interruption, and ask you the right questions can help you reveal solutions that you didn’t even realise existed. A coach listens to what you are saying without judgement, in a safe space. This alone has helped me become a better, happier, and more fulfilled person.

2) Coaching can build on success, not just solve problems. 

Did you know that coaching isn’t just for specific problems? Nope, coaching is also to build on success. For example, you don’t have to be struggling with a writing routine or draft to hire a writing coach; you can also be having the most prolific writing period of your life and want it to continue. You could be finding yourself motivated every day to create and want to investigate the set of circumstances that led you there so that you can keep being your best self.

Coaching to build on success is a great way to invest in yourself. It’s saying, ‘Hey, things are going great, and long may they continue. In fact, I’ll make sure they do.’

This is the reason I continue to invest in a coaching programme; because I want to continue building on the success that I have found with them.

3) Having someone rooting for you can hold you accountable. 

It’s not the deadlines given by a coach that hold me accountable; it’s the fact that they are rooting for me personally. Coaching is a professional relationship with a difference – you have someone on your team, and they believe in you and your progress. The thought of sharing my achieved tasks with my coach makes me happy because I’m excited to move forward with them in our next session, not because I’m afraid of missing a deadline.

4) Positive change starts with you.

You only have a coach for an hour or so a week or even a month, depending on what you opt for. Outside of this time, it’s down to the client to make what has been discussed work for them. I spend a good few hours a week working on my actions points and planning for my coaching sessions. I like to mix it up, too, like climbing a hill on the treadmill while catching up on a pre-recorded Zoom meeting. Whatever it is, I make sure that I take responsibility for that positive change in my life outside of my coaching sessions.  Coaching gives me the action points to work from, but the action comes from me.

5) Investing in yourself is about much more than money. 

When you give yourself the opportunity of time, education, and accountability, investing in yourself becomes about more than money. It becomes about believing in yourself and setting you up for success. I made a private video at the start of this year, at the suggestion of my coach. It was just me, talking about where I currently was in my business, life, and expectations. Well, the other day, I finally looked back on it ten months later. It was amazing to see the growth of those months. I know that coaching helped me get there, and I am so grateful for that reminder of how far I have come.

So, have you ever been coached, and if so, what did you learn? I would love to know, so share it with me today

Coaching Craft

Writing Coach Vs Editor: What’s the Difference?

Should you hire a Writing Coach or a Developmental editor? What is each for, and how do you know how to move forward?

I have noticed that this question is bringing people to my website organically, so I wanted to answer it clearly so that people have that answer.

What is a Writing Coach?

A writing coach, also known as an Author Coach or Book Coach, is a trained coach who helps you through any writing issues. I have helped writers find the time in their busy schedules to write, create a writing routine that works for them, develop their novel ideas, and much more.

What is a Developmental Edit?

A Developmental Edit is an edit that focuses on the story. It is concerned with narrative, consistency, characterisation, dialogue – basically everything but the copy edit! When I provide a Developmental Edit to an author, it consists of my going through the work at least twice, and providing the client with an Editor’s Report and in-text comments and corrections, as well as an hour-long discussion/coaching session afterwards to discuss the work.

What is the difference between a Writing Coach and a Developmental Editor?

The difference is the focus. For example, I am both a Writing Coach and an Editor who offers Developmental Editing. When I am hired to coach, I have a series of sessions with the writer, and we work toward their goals through a series of jointly agreed action points. When I am hired to provide a Developmental Edit, I focus on the draft of a novel and write up an Editor’s Report, instead of live sessions with the author.

What stage should I be in to hire a Writing Coach?

You can be in any stage to hire a Writing Coach, from idea to fifth edit! As a coach, I can focus on whatever you would like to focus on. Sometimes that’s at the very start of a novel and is all about your idea, and how you would like the book to be written. At other times it’s after publication, and you want to work on marketing. As a writing coach, we can work together on any writing goal, however varied.

What stage should I be in to hire a Developmental Editor? 

To hire a Developmental Editor, you need to have a novel pretty much written. It could be that you hire someone to edit at a date a few months into the future, with the understanding that you will have completed the novel by then. However, the most important thing to know is that you will be required to hand over a manuscript to the editor on the agreed-upon date, so get writing!

What are the pros of hiring a Writing Coach?

As a writing coach, I can help you achieve your literary dreams. By holding space for you, identifying action points, and asking the questions that drive you to dig deep, you will leave a session with more clarity and purpose. Ultimately, coaching can help you succeed in your goals.

What are the pros of hiring a Developmental Editor? 

A Developmental Edit can give you expert advice on your novel. It will leave you with a roadmap of how to move forward, what needs improving, and how you can make your story the best it can possibly be.

Can I hire someone to do both?

Yes! In fact, I offer a great deal for someone who is looking for a coach AND an editor. This consists of six months of weekly coaching AND a full Developmental Edit when you are ready. If you want to know more about it, click here to find out –

So, now you know the difference between hiring someone to be a Writing Coach or a Developmental Editor, and what is best for you.

As a Certified Professional Coach, trained by an ICF company and with an ILM Level 2, you can trust that my coaching skills are tried and tested. As a writer with a PhD, MA and BA in Creative Writing, and over six years of lecturing in adult education and at universities, I’m a professional writer specialising in helping others find their way forward. 

Any questions? Feel free to get in touch.

Want to read something similar? Check these out!

What is a Writing Coach?
4 Ways to Edit Your Own Writing