The Value of a Writing Coach

13 Jan

Why is it that weekends go by so quickly?  I don’t ever remember a Wednesday flying by, but Saturdays?  Gone in the blink of an eye!

I spent the weekend fixing our quail enclosure…our aviary…would that be a quailry???  Anyway, making any bird enclosure predator-proof is quite an undertaking, but I think we are done and ready to put the quail back in their outside home.  They’ve had it a bit easy for the past couple months in the garage, warm and safe from the elements and raccoons.   It’s time they get back outside as the gods intended.

Working on projects like that one is a hands-on job, but my mind is always tossing around writing ideas while I cut the wood and fit it into place.  Short story ideas, novel tweaking, new characters, they all visit me while I’m screwing and pounding. (I know that sounded dirty but it’s what I was doing)

The point is that my mind never rests, and I suspect it is true of most writers.  My muse will whisper sweet nothings in my ear at the strangest times, and I have to be receptive and willing to listen.  When she does, I write her ideas down in my ever-present pad, and then refer to them on Monday when my writing week continues.

I’m babbling now, but I’m sure you’ll find a couple worthwhile suggestions in that babbling if you look close enough.


In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.

John Wooden

I was recently contacted by a writer friend of mine who wants to hire me as her writing coach.  She needs some assistance as she prepares to write her first book, and I’m excited to be working with her.

A writing coach?  Yes, a writing coach.  People pay music teachers to help them play instruments, so why not a writing coach to help you as you learn this craft?

Everyone can write, but not everyone can write well, and that’s what a writing coach can do for you.  Let me ask you a question:  are you a good writer?  Most writers can’t answer that question.  We’ve all been told by friends and/or family that our stuff is good, but they are expected to say that.  How about an objective appraisal from an objective coach?  Would that be beneficial?


If you have doubts, or you feel you are stuck at a certain level and don’t know how to elevate your game, give some consideration to hiring a writing coach.  It just might be the best decision you can make.  When people hire me as a coach, they are taking on some tough love.  As a writer my job is to support and encourage.  As a coach, my job is to yank you out of your comfort level and give you the truth whether you want it or not….and you should expect that from any writing coach.


Let’s do something different today. As many of you know, I’m in the final edits of “Shadows Kill,” a psychological thriller that is a bit unsettling but never boring.  I still have time for a few additions, so I thought I would give you a chance to have a character named after you.  All you have to do is correctly answer the following question, and I’ll place your name in my book where it will remain forever.

Here’s the question:  What high school did I attend?  Here’s a clue: I attended high school in Tacoma, Washington.


I recently wrote an article and in that article I mentioned that making a couple hundred bucks a month is not a problem.  I had a reader mention that she disagreed with me and she hasn’t found that to be true for her.

I’m standing by my assertion.  Just writing for content mills can earn you that much, and there are a great many content mills out there.  You’ll be working for peanuts when you do write for a mill, but it’s entirely possible to make ten bucks per article and write twenty articles in a month.  I don’t suggest doing it, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  Add to that all the opportunities that await you in your own community, writing blogs for businesses, and all the online and hard copy magazines and newspapers….there are many, many ways to make money in this business.


It’s time for me to wrap this up so I can wrap up a couple more projects outside. Have a great week of writing.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

23 Responses to “The Value of a Writing Coach”

  1. Janine Huldie January 13, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    So true about Saturdays and Bill I never stop here either probably one of the many reasons we get along so well my friend!! Happy Tuesday once again 😉

    • Billybuc January 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

      Janine, there are so many reasons you and I get alone…I’ve lost count. I’m just glad we do.

  2. Shauna L Bowling January 13, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    Having a writing coach is invaluable. I had one for a while and I learned a lot from him. We still stay in touch and I follow his blog. In fact, he has a reader who asked him if he could recommend a proofreader that will buddy up with her and work for free. He told her that’s not going to happen – no one works for free. Anyway, he emailed me and asked me if I’d be willing to talk to her, knowing she won’t be a high-paying client. I thought that was awesome of him to think of me.

    I’ve been busy this month actively marketing my business and services. In fact, I have a few emails I need to send out today. I sent 10 out the latter part of last week. No bites yet, but eventually I’ll hear from someone.

    As for what high school you attended. I tried to cheat but I don’t remember if you went to Catholic or public high school. I know you attended Catholic school at some point, but not sure if it was all through your school years or not. Shoot. I’d love to have a Shauna in your new book!

    Screwing and pounding – that’s what you were doing. No matter how you read it, it sounds dirty, Bill. Ha ha! I got a chuckle out of that.

    Enjoy your week. I’ve got some cover letters to write and emails to send out. Wish me luck!

    And congrats on your mentee!

    • Billybuc January 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      Sha, thanks for your thoughts, and way to go sending those emails out. That’s a huge hurdle for you and I’m proud of you. You’re right…I did go to Catholic school. 🙂

    • Billybuc January 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm #

      Sorry, Sha. I taught at Blanchet but didn’t attend school there. Nice try, though.

      • Shauna L Bowling January 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

        Did you go to Bellermine Prep?

      • Billybuc January 14, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

        Bingo! You are the newest member of Shadows Kill!

      • Shauna L Bowling January 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

        Whoo hoo! Given the plot line, I’m real curious to see what role Shauna plays in your novel!

      • Billybuc January 15, 2015 at 12:42 am #

        Honestly, I don’t have a clue, but I’ll work on it tomorrow.

  3. ruchira January 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    Yeah! Happy for ya, Bill
    You will do a fine job as a writing coach…just did not know about this until now…lol

    Thanks for the information about content mills. Did not know about such a site. Don’t mind to stash a few bucks 🙂

    Happy Wednesday!

    • Billybuc January 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

      Ruchira, content mills are all over the internet. Just Google content mills and you’ll have your pick. 🙂 Thank you for spending part of your Tuesday with me.

  4. klsilver January 14, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    I had a mentor for the entire first draft of mastered. I miss that support very much. It was very helpful. Hopefully i learned enough the first time round, cause here we go again – sans mentor.
    Have a great day, Bill

    • Billybuc January 14, 2015 at 4:26 am #

      Hey, Sis, thanks for weighing in with your experience. I think most if not all writers can benefit from having a mentor/coach….maybe cost is a factor…or else a lot of them just don’t care. 🙂

  5. Christy Birmingham January 14, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi Bill, You will make a wonderful writing coach! What an honor that you were asked to do so by your friend. I am like you with the restless mind that is always thinking of new writing projects even when doing things very unrelated to the writing world. Our poor heads! But, I am thankful that we both have the ability to put those words onto paper and have friends who support us. Big hugs to you!

    • Billybuc January 14, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

      Christy, I’m with you in spirit, my friend. I love that we have that ability…so many people don’t. It is a gift I will always be thankful for.

      Hugs to you nice lady

  6. Michele Kelsey January 14, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    You attended Clover Park High School. 🙂 I’d love to be in a novel if I’m not too late! Michele Kelsey

    • Billybuc January 14, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

      Michele, sorry, I didn’t attend Clover Park….but if no one guesses it, I’ll put you in the novel. Thanks for playing along.

  7. Michele Kelsey January 14, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    bellarmine preparatory school

    • Michele Kelsey January 14, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

      Oh I didn’t see the above comments. I tried. Oh well. Maybe next book. 😉

      • Billybuc January 15, 2015 at 5:03 am #

        I’m sorry, Michele. I’ll try to squeeze you in anyway.

  8. Michael Milec January 15, 2015 at 2:54 am #

    Yes my friend , weekends recent years are going by too quickly ( don’t remember when started) but since this my monster project ( 2 days, 1 off 2 days 2 off) on weekends often my naps goes in length as if another night was added then I need to identify which day it is.
    Let me make it official, when cold wether and higher age , the body faster grows weary and slower regains the rest needed. ( Might be me only.)
    How are your quails doing outside? Hope you won’t experience -11F as it was last night in our area. It could be a shock for them.
    There must be something in common while cutting wood and ideas running through the mind: jutting them down quickly, then after reading I don’t like myself easy anymore- putting them to rest.
    Back to your suggestions, they are always inspirational. Among others these two would be worth to mention : Blessed are those who grew to the level of being coached, and Blessed are coached .
    Keep worm and be blessed. Good night.

    • Billybuc January 15, 2015 at 5:05 am #

      Michael my friend, the aging process is full of surprises for me, and not all of them welcome. 🙂 The quail are doing fine. We have had a very mild winter so far…almost balmy. 🙂 Thank you for asking.

      Rest well my friend. Allow the body to regenerate as much as it can.


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