Friend or Foe.....
(Beautiful vulture artwork courtesy of Daniel Eskridge)
I have to admit, I’m ambivalent about writing coaches. It’s not that I have anything against them personally. I simply feel many of them don’t necessarily have the best interests of their students in mind. When I first started my own research about developing an author/blogging site, my Google search took me to all sorts of writing advice provided mostly by writers whose sole source of income seems to be advice on how to write successfully! Their offers to assist writers lacking the confidence to put themselves out there on their own then become a self-fulfilling prophecy – at least for these purveyors of the writing ju-ju!
Now, maybe I’m being a tad cynical here. I get that these professionals need to keep a roof over their heads. I’m as much about earning a living writing as the next person. But, when I try to find even just one finished product of their writing prowess, (aside from the books they’ve written on how to write well), I often come up short. This then gets me wondering what their credentials actually are. Have they ever published anything other than their “How to Write a Story” books? What I’m getting at here is that it smacks of the Wizard of Oz frantically telling Dorothy and her crew to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”
The good news is that it’s not all gloom and doom and not all your time surfing will be wasted. There are some sites I’ve found that are really worth a visit, where the blogger provides excellent advice for the aspiring writer for free, even though they have purchasable options. One of the sites I enjoy visiting is Bryan Hutchinson’s The Positive Writer. I invariably come away with something whenever I stop by; whether it’s technical advice, or something profoundly inspirational. Although I’ve never met the guy, Bryan comes across as genuinely happy to help. I encourage you check him out.
Another site I like that is chock-full of useful information about the writing business is Angela Booth's, who has several blogs. While yes, she sells coaching, classes and books on how to become a professional writer, she also offers a bunch of really useful free information too. She actually keeps four separate blogs current (which is a feat in itself!) So, take a look at her Writing Blog, Fab Freelance Writing Blog, Just Write a Book Blog and her Creativity Factory. They’re certainly worth the five minutes you take off from writing, and you’ll likely come away with advice you can put to practical use.
As I find other sites that stand out from the crowd I’ll include their info in my blog posts. But I have a disclaimer about spending too much time surfing and not enough time writing. It’s easy to justify checking out sites that tell you HOW to write instead of doing the one thing you actually have to do if you stand the remotest chance at being a professional writer. As my idol Dorothy Parker once said, “Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.” So, sit your butt down, open your laptop and get clacking!