I realized something this week. I’ve been following the wrong career path for the past year!

It’s crazy! About a year ago, I decided to move into editing. A few of my formatting clients asked me to edit their work, and I enjoyed doing so. I took some classes, joined a professional organization, and hung out my editor’s shingle. But after a year of doing that, I realized I’d moved into the wrong niche.

I don’t really want to edit. I want to help people write better and write happier.

Grammar isn’t my thing. Punctuation isn’t my forté. And I’m definitely not a great proofreader.

However, what I am good at is teaching other people how to write. I am an incredible listener. And frequently I even have really good ideas on how to help people solve their problems. I also happen to have a great deal of experience as a writer and publisher (see my post from last week).

And that is where coaching comes in.

This is what an editor does:

  • Read your work
  • Suggest better sentence formation.
  • Point out passive voice
  • Point out telling instead of showing when showing is needed and vice-versa
  • Correct your grammar and punctuation

Developmental editors will also:

  • Tell you when your characters aren’t behaving consistently
  • Show you where you have plot holes
  • Give tips on how to improve the quality of your writing

A Writing Coach will:

  • Help you with the project management in writing your novel (or whatever)
  • Help you identify your audience and ensure that you are writing to expectations
  • Help with the overall theme, voice, and organization of your novel
  • Be an accountability partner
  • Be a mentor
  • Talk to you about your fears, worries, imposter syndrome, and other emotional worries that’s stopping you from reaching your potential.
  • Some will also read your work and give suggestions on how to improve your writing overall without actually editing your work.

There are subtle, but significant differences between an editor and a writing coach.

So, here I am officially taking down my editor’s shingle. Soon I’m going to put up my new coaching shingle. I don’t yet know when that will be because I’m still looking for just the right coach-training program. Frequently, they last nine months, but within that time, you do begin to take on clients. So keep an eye on this space. I’ll be sure to announce loud and clear when I’m looking for clients (the first few will get coached for free as I learn, after that, I’ll begin to charge for the service).

Have you ever used a writing coach? If so, how was the experience?