Coaching Writers

Coaching Writers
Jerome Daley

Janet was the wife of a youth pastor who left her church, her family, and her beliefs to embark on a twenty-year search for “freedom;” she found herself in some very dark experiences with the occult before Jesus tenderly drew her back to himself and began the healing.

Karen’s marriage was a roller-coaster ride for years-never knowing when her Christian husband would be pleased with her and when he would unleash a volley of irrational rage-until he was diagnosed as bi-polar, and they began the hard work of restoring their relationship.

Samuel was a seasoned missionary making impressive inroads into Latin America with the gospel-until his numerous same-sex relationships spilled out into the open, wrecking his family and his career.

No, these are not the “yellow journalism” anecdotes of the churched underground-these are real clients (with different names, of course) who have come to me over the years to help coach and mentor them around crafting their experiences into a book. There are an amazing number of people who have a book inside them; they just need some help packaging their brilliance into something publishable. If you are a published author, you may have just found a whole new coaching market for yourself. And even if you’re not a writer yourself, you may wind up with a client at some point who wants to write the next great American novel!

Here are some tips:

Coaching and mentoring writers often involves working in the following areas:

* Educating them on publishing options (e-books, self-publishing, print-on-demand, book packagers, full-service houses, etc.)
* Describing the points of access for large publishing houses, notably writers’ conferences and literary agents.
* Tapping into their vision and making sure it is cohesive, compelling, and communicable.
* Helping them craft their vision into a book proposal.
* Editing their content at some level or supporting their search for an editor.
* Helping them develop and stick to the discipline of actually writing something.

This type of coaching often involves a lot more mentoring, advice-giving, and consulting than typical coaching does, yet your expertise finds its greatest value in the context of active listening, powerful questioning, and action forwarding the essential coaching methodologies.

Here are ten questions to help a writer define their book:

1. What is the one thing you most want to say to your readers?
2. Who do you want to say it to? Who is your target audience?
3. What is the felt need that your message addresses?
4. What is the impact your message will have on the reader?
5. What will you say that has not been said before?
6. What life experience will you draw from in communicating your message?
7. How would you summarize your message in 50 words? In 100 words?
8. How will you hook your reader’s attention in the first paragraph and keep them hooked throughout the book?
9. What are your natural spheres of influence for selling books? Who else?
10. How involved do you want to be in marketing your book? How will this impact your lifestyle?
11. And a bonus question: If you are actually able to achieve this dream of publishing your book, what will that get you?

Help your clients dream big and then put their dream in motion. Who knows, maybe you’re the one with a book in you!

Jerome Daley, ACC, DPM is a leadership coach, author of five books, and Publisher of Christian Coaching Magazine.

This article “Coaching Writer” by Jerome Daley was excerpted from: web site. March 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

This may not be an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”