How do you know if you have the right memoir coach? The guidelines below will help you evaluate your writing coach prospect to ascertain if you are choosing the right memoir coach for you. This article contains evaluation guidelines centered on the availability of the right memoir coach.
1. Can your coach work with you so that you meet your deadline?
As you develop your memoir project, you may become aware of a natural deadline, such as a family reunion or a birthday. The right memoir coach for you will be able to meet your date. This deadline should be discussed before you and the coach commit to each other.
A writing coach can help you at every step of the process. Having “been there and done that”—and being able to talk clearly about it, a memoir-writing coach can point you in the right direction and gently correct your course.
A coach is a teacher, a cheerleader, a critic, a motivator, a writing buddy, a person who holds you accountable for meeting your goals, a good listener, and sometimes an editor—and a coach can be more if you need more.
For a free consult, call 207-353-5454 today to make an appointment.
Click here to read more about coaching.
Your deadline may also simply focus on a time when you would like to be finished. This is a completely internal deadline.
A book project without a deadline may lose its momentum. Even if you do not have a firm deadline, you do not want the project to drag so that you loose your energy to turn out a quality product. Select a meaningful end date to work toward. If you don’t have a special occasion on the horizon, “Next year at this time” is a workable time frame!
If you have a deadline, let it be significant. Don’t introduce needless tension into the relationship with an otherwise compatible memoir coach by selecting an arbitrary date that does not give you and your coach sufficient time to develop the book you both want to see finished. Pick a completion date that works for you both and stick to it.
2. How many other clients and projects does the coach have and can she or he comfortably fulfill all responsibilities and still meet your need?
Most likely, your coach has a number of clients and is doing the best possible job to meet all of their needs. Before you engage a coach, mention how important the end date is to you and ask if meeting it is possible. This is the time to state any variability. (“There will be another family gathering six months later.”) The right memoir coach will be able to work with you—if you work with him/her.
3. Will the coach be available when you are?
Inform the writer about times when you will be away and not available to work with him or her. If you plan to be absent for protracted periods of time (i.e., a month, six weeks, etc.), the coach must know about this as soon as you do.
Most coaches must keep their schedules full as memoir coaching is their source of income. Since their income depends on billable time, they do not welcome surprise gaps. Knowing when you will be out of town or otherwise unavailable, your coach can shift his or her schedule towards other projects that will meet her or his income needs as well as the needs of other clients while you are unavailable. Additionally, your coach can rearrange his or her schedule to be more at your disposal later when you are ready to resume collaboration.
4. Does availability extend to being able to contact the coach when you need to be in contact?
How will special communications be conducted—e-mail or telephone? Be sure that your preferred method will be possible. Some memoir clients prefer phone calls, and others want all communications to be by mail or e-mail. The choice ought to be yours, and the coach ought to conform to it. You are paying the bill.
Other than short telephone communications (“Is our coaching session on Monday or Wednesday?”), expect to pay for the coach’s time during special telephone sessions and for e-mail feedback. In my own case, anything under five minutes is just fine. After five minutes, it is my responsibility to ask: “Would you like to set up a session?”
A final note:
A memoir-writing coach wants to help you
- articulate what it is you want to say
- plan a strategy for writing your best memoir, and
- reach your memoir writing goals in effective time
The right memoir coach offers a “just in time” solution for encouragement, guidance, teaching, prompting, counseling and planning. Your coach will be the catalyst to get your manuscript ready for publication by the deadline you set.
There is a right memoir coach for you out there waiting to help you.
2. Call 207-353-5454 today for a free consultation about how we can collaborate to write your memoir or email me at [email protected]
3. Sign up for a 3-hour trial of Memoir Coaching.