Would a Writing Coach Help?

Bev Walton-Porter publishes The Scribe and Quill. You can find more about Bev, her writing and her writing coach services on her site. I’ve known Bev over 10 years and have admired herself and her accomplishments that long too.

Thanks, Laura, for having me as a guest on your blog to talk about writing coaches and why a writing coach can be beneficial to your readers. Although I’ve only addressed a handful of questions here, readers may e-mail me at scribequill@gmail.com for additional information.

Q: What is the benefit of hiring a writing coach?

A: There are many benefits. First, a writing coach can help you stay focused and on point with your current project or goal. Next, a writing coach can help you over those rough spots when you’re stuck in a rut or aren’t sure which avenue to take next. In addition, a writing coach is someone who encourages and supports your efforts, yet offers concrete suggestions to assist you in reaching the next level on your creative journey. My coaching philosophy offers a balance of creativity and productivity that is adjusted to meet each client’s specific needs.

Q: How do you choose a good writing coach?

A:  I think it’s important to know something about your potential writing coach, such as what experience they have in the writing/publishing community. Also, while it’s nice to work with a professional who has years of experience under his/her belt, I think it’s also important to work with someone who matches your personality and who shares the same vision for your progress and success that you do. You may choose a writing coach who has over a decade or two of experience in the writing/publishing community, but if he/she doesn’t sync with who you are and what you hope to accomplish, then I believe you’re missing an important part of the equation.

Q: How do you find a writing coach?

A: There are two important parts to this equation. The first part of the equation is locating a writing coach. The second part of the equation is finding a writing coach that best fits your personal style.

You can ask friends/colleagues for referrals, you can approach a professional and ask if they’ll mentor you (for an agreed-upon fee, of course) or you can research writing coaches online.

Once you locate a potential writing coach whom you think might fit your needs, you should consult them and see if they fit your style on both a personal and a professional level. One writing coach does not fit all, shall we say.

Q: How did you become a writing coach?

A: Moving into the role of writing coach was a natural progression for me since I’d been teaching online writing courses since 1997. I was already working with writers one-on-one to help them brainstorm ideas, develop their work and polish completed projects, so it was a short jump to adding “writing coach” to the services I offer.

Again, thanks for having me as your guest, Laura. It’s been a pleasure!

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Bev offers one-on-one coaching services through e-mail, instant message and telephone starting at $15 for 30 minutes and $25 for 60 minutes. E-mail scribequill@gmail.com for more info.

To view Bev’s publishing-related resume, visit the link below:

http://www.scribequill.net/BevWaltonPorterCV.pdf

BIO:

Bev Walton-Porter has been a professional writer, editor and instructor for 12 years.  She is the author of Sun Signs for Writers (Writer’s Digest Books), Mending Fences (Whiskey Creek Press), and Hidden Fire (Whiskey Creek Press). She is also a co-author of The Complete Writer: A Guide to Tapping Your Full Potential.  Bev is the Director of Education for Author School. She is a client of the Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency in New York City.

My Blog is Missing Me


We get so wrapped up in making our blog, finding people to read it (to notice that we have a blog) and suddenly we realize we need to actually put something into the blog, content wise. When I was not involved with Entrecard I was writing in my blog more often. I want to get back to that. The real point of having the blog was the writing of it, the creating and publishing.

I miss myself in my blog. When I read the posts I’m not really there. Just lurking around and occasionally leaving a note. It’s not easy to find some balance. The funny thing is that people who do read your blog want to read the blog with you in it. If you write for your readers it becomes predictable and ordinary.

So lets all work on bringing ourselves back into our blogs. If you spend time card dropping for Entrecard or working on other promotion games, let them be on the sidelines. Keep yourself in the front lines.

Happy blogging.

Outside the Envelope Bloggers

Gave it a space of its own on Outside the Envelope. Will see how it goes.

I thought about doing this as an award but… that makes it seem everyone who gets it should actually be professional, polished and really good at it. I don’t want to exclude people like myself who don’t have any real skill just blundering along and having fun trying. So anyone who tries is welcome as well as those who really are good at creating, coding, drawing and illustrating and make people like me jealous or at least very wishful.

So, this is here for anyone who wants to join up a group of creative bloggers. Every Monday (not for any good reason) create a blog entry which uses some other art form, not the standard typed post. Think along the lines of mail art, anything you can stuff into or onto an envelope. But, in this case it has to fit into a blog post.

I think it’s a step in the direction of re-making blogs as they once were. Long ago in the dinosaur age when blogs were about fun, creativity and trying it out in order to learn HTML and testing your own power as someone who can bring their own ideas and adventures to the Internet through web publishing.

Just let me know so we can build a list, visit back and forth and roll it up into a blogroll when it’s more than just me talking to myself.

BlogTalkers: Your Blog Template; Your Personality

From BlogTalkers: What does your blog template say about you? What would you LIKE it to say about you? How often do you change your blog template? Do you change it yourself or do you hire someone to do it for you? How much would you pay to have someone redesign your blog template? Do you plan on giving your blog a facelift for the new year?

I make my own template, more or less. Some is borrowed and of course a lot came direct from Blogger.com. I add scripts as I find them or find them useful. My favourites for usability are the pull down boxes for the sidebar (which would be a huge mess without them) and the tag cloud (found in the sidebar).

I change my template on a whim. At the drop of the right hat. Or, for no good reason what so ever. I do not hire anyone or plan on hiring anyone to do it. I did consider it at one point but really, it isn’t something I can’t do myself I was just being lazy at the time.

Of course it will get a face lift in the New Year. I can’t keep the Holiday type theme up for too long.

What it says about me…? No comment at this time. I’d like it to say I’m at least somewhat accomplished in publishing something or other online. I’d like it to say I’m creative and friendly and Canadian. Those are pretty good things to be.

Feeling Like a Fraud

I wrote this in my blog. What do you think? Do you feel the same way?

You have no idea what a big fraud I feel like. I’m no expert in or about anything and yet here I am writing newsletters for Pagans, travelers, gardeners, writers, decorators, and so on. Who do I think I am? But, more than that why do they listen to me? There’s the real mystery.

It’s weird isn’t it? When I’m writing I have in my mind the critic who keeps shouting over my shoulder that someone could poke their eye out if they listen to me. But, I keep going. I keep writing anyway. The sending for publishing part is even harder than the original writing part. If you actually try to publish your unexpertness someone is bound to catch you and report you as the fraud you are.

I admit I know nothing beyond the contents of my own brain. Maybe that’s good enough. I do have a lot up there after all.

Those brain contents and our research are all any of us have to go on really. Think about that next time you feel like you’re a writing fraud. If someone can read your words and come away with something concrete or something they see as good then you’re doing your job as a writer. You don’t have to be the perfect expert with all the answers. Sometimes it just takes someone to write it, even if all they really know are the questions.

Do You Even Know What You’re Still Blogging For?

It seems the more you put into getting your blog read, the less you put into creating something to be read. Then the more you try to create stuff the be read the thinner you spread yourself trying to be everything to everyone. Then you realize no one cares so you go back to trying to get noticed. It’s a circle, never ending. But, do you even remember why you wanted to start a blog?

I never really did have a real plan in mind. I thought blogs were ultra cool, the community was a lot smaller and fun, the whole web publishing thing still holds a ton of appeal to me too. But, I think I lost myself somewhere along the way. I’ve stretched myself backwards and inside out trying to get attention, make the numbers on my counter go up. All the while telling myself I didn’t really care if the counter moved at all. That wasn’t the point. Yet, I joined webrings, blogrolls and did other stuff to help increase traffic here. For what?

I don’t reliably stay on any one topic. I don’t even journal regularly any more. Sometimes I just don’t want to say anything yet I feel I have to come up with something to post to mark the day.

It’s silly. What does one blog matter? Why do I care if I have traffic? I think I want to be heard and yet at the moment I don’t have a whole lot I want to talk about. I wish I was still doing my site for writers. I liked that, it had a purpose for one thing.

I’m not going to quit blogging, I’ve been doing it too long to quit. This isn’t my first blog or the only blog ware I’ve used. I wish I still had my old blogs, I did try to keep some of the old stuff but it seems to have gotten lost during this move or that move. Likely it’s never to be seen again.

Not like me. I will be seen again, just not today I think. I’m off to see the Wizard.