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This blog was featured on 11/13/2019
How Being A Book Coach Can Help You Become A Better Writer (And Your Own Best Editor)
Written by
She Writes
November 2019
Written by
She Writes
November 2019

The clients I coach are often totally blown away at my ability to see into the heart of their story. They think it’s akin to a magic trick or a secret superpower. “How do you do that?” they often ask. The answer is quite pedestrian: It’s pattern recognition.

As a book coach, I am in the business of seeing the things that writers get wrong. I can glance at an opening page or an opening chapter or an outline for an entire book, and see the holes, the problems, the places where things go flat. It’s because I have seen the same problems so many times before. Every story is unique, but the things writers get wrong tend to be the same.

Once I identify a problem, I articulate it to the writer in a way that helps them see what I see, and help them develop a plan for fixing the issue and shoring it up.

It’s typically very difficult to see these same holes and problems in your own work. That’s because you have the burden, or curse, of knowledge about everything related to your writing. Your mind automatically fills in the holes and glosses over the rough parts.

But an amazing thing happens when a writer gets trained as a book coach. They start to be able to identify info dumps in other people’s work, or issues with logic, or the places where the emotion has gone missing. They start seeing the patterns and they hone the ability to describe those patterns to the writers they are serving. And suddenly, their ability to see all of this in their own work skyrockets.

You can’t perfect your vision – I think a writer can always benefit from another set of eyes, another perspective – but you can dramatically improve it.

Being able to know why something is working or not working is another bonus of learning how to be a book coach. A coach has to explain “show don’t tell” over and over and over again. You have to explain how to weave in backstory. You have to explain what to do when something is falling flat emotionally. And every time you explain it, you are training your own mind too.

So not only can you better identify the problems in your own work, you instantly know how to fix them.

Earlier this year, we launched our Book Coach Training and Certification program at Author Accelerator. We thought this program would be appealing to people who wanted to add book coaching as a side gig to their writing career, or to do this work as a full-time job. We were not prepared for how many people wanted to go through the program simply to improve their own writing, but now that this is happening, I get it. It’s like someone taking a yoga teacher training not because they want to teach yoga but because they want to improve their own practice. Book coach training is like a master class in learning how to see books better, whether it’s someone else’s or your own.

This post was sponsored by Author Accelerator.

Jennie Nash is the founder and CEO of Author Accelerator, a book coaching company on a mission to help writers write books worth reading. Join her on January 20, 2020, for a free online Book Coaching Summit – an entire week of programming about what book coaching is, how it works, and how to run a successful book coaching business. If you don’t want to wait that long, also check out her free course: Book Coach Basic Training

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