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Why You Should Work With a Coach or an Editor Early in the Process

Clients will often come to me after having done a considerable amount of writing. Sometimes I will receive 200- and 300-page manuscripts all formatted and seemingly ready for publication.

Among them are manuscripts that are really at an end stage of writing and need only a bit of editing, but…

There are too many that are still—in spite of their polished look on the page—in an early stage of development. The writer has not mastered voice, or perhaps it’s pacing and shaping. Perhaps the writer is still angry over events in his/her life and is writing too closely—but doesn’t see it.

When I get these manuscripts, I always shudder a bit. Why don’t writers who have not written before—people who are “trying to write“—invest a few dollars in their stories? Why not as they start to write, send in an initial 20- to 30-page segment to have it reviewed? This should not be a first draft but a version they have polished as much as they can. Imagine practicing a golf stroke wrong—and spending the whole summer perfecting a faulty stroke. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to ask someone to assess your stroke before you spend a long time practicing it?

That’s what some writers do—commit themselves to write 300 pages that are full of problems that could have been resolved early on with some guidance!


A Push in the Right Direction

At the Memoir Network, we offer a trial editing / coaching package. It has helped many writers to sharpen their focus. You get three hours of perceptive attention on your memoir and some clear direction about how to proceed. We call this developmental editing. Each trial comes with a returned edited manuscript that is then reviewed with you in a telephone consult. If you think hiring a editor / coach is expensive, try writing 300 pages of a memoir and then learn that you have been repeating flaws that could have been corrected early on—and you could now be holding a really-ready-to-be-edited manuscript.

Whatever you do today, write a bit on your memoir.


Action Steps

1. Visit the Memoir Editing or Memoir Coaching pages at

2. Call 207-353-5454 today for a free consultation about how we can collaborate to write your memoir or email me at

3. Sign up for a 3-hour trial of Memoir Editing or a 3-hour trial of Memoir Coaching.

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