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Blog The Writing Process Writing Coach: What Are They, Rates, and Tips on Hiring One

Writing Coach: What Are They, Rates, and Tips on Hiring One

Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

Published Feb 03, 2023

writing coach

If you’re hoping to take your writing to the next level, it might be time to look for a writing coach.

So, what exactly is a writing coach, and how do you hire one?

The short answer is that a writing coach is a professional who can give you feedback and guidance to help you along your writing journey.

Read on to learn more about how much it costs to hire a writing coach and how one can help you improve your writing.

  1. What Is a Writing Coach?
  2. Benefits of Hiring a Book Coach
  3. Cost of Hiring a Writing Coach
  4. Top 5 Tips on Finding the Best Writing Coach for You
  5. Writing Coach vs Writing Tool
  6. Why ProWritingAid Is a Great AI Writing Coach

What Is a Writing Coach?

A writing coach is a professional who helps people improve their writing skills and reach their writing goals.

Writing coaches can work with writers at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming and idea generation to editing and publishing.

You can hire a writing coach for any large writing project, whether it’s a novel, a nonfiction book, or something else. If you don’t need help with a single specific project, you can also ask a coach to help you achieve your writing career goals in a broader sense.

What Does a Writing Coach Do?

Writing coaches use a variety of different techniques to help writers improve their skills. Some common techniques include:

  • Offering guidance on early aspects of the writing process, such as brainstorming and idea generation, research, and outlining
  • Providing feedback and big-picture critiques about a written work, such as its content, structure, and overall effectiveness
  • Editing and proofreading a piece of writing to make sure it has no grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Teaching writing techniques and strategies, such as how to craft a compelling narrative or how to write for a specific audience
  • Helping you develop a personalized writing plan that includes specific goals, strategies, and timelines for achieving those goals
  • Helping you identify your fears so you can face them and overcome them
  • Offering support and motivation to encourage writers to continue their writing journeys

Many people confuse writing coaches with editors, ghostwriters, or agents, but these are all different jobs.

Editors provide big-picture critiques of your work, or line-by-line feedback on your writing. A writing coach often provides feedback, but that’s not their only role.

Ghostwriters write the actual words for you based on your ideas or outlines. A writing coach doesn’t do the writing for you—that part’s your job!

Finally, agents represent your work to publishers and other publishing industry professionals in exchange for a commission on your earnings. A writing coach won’t represent you or negotiate with publishers for you.

A writing coach’s job can overlap with the jobs provided by editors, ghostwriters, and agents, but they all serve different roles. The primary focus of a writing coach is to work collaboratively with you on the process of writing your project and achieving your writing goals.

writing coach definition

Benefits of Hiring a Book Coach

If you’ve ever been stuck on a book project, you probably know how hard it is to get yourself unstuck.

There are so many reasons why writers get stuck. Here are a few common ones:

  • You haven’t figured out the right writing process for you
  • You’ve lost the spark that inspired the story
  • You’ve written yourself into a hole and don’t know what to write next
  • You’ve finished a draft, but you know it needs a lot of improvement
  • You don’t have support from others around you

Regardless of the reason you’re stuck, it often takes help from someone else to get writing again.

A book writing coach can provide that help. They can offer the emotional support and encouragement you need to keep going, but on a more technical level, they also have the literary know-how to help you improve your book.

Because they’ve worked with many writers before, book writing coaches can help you diagnose the weaknesses in your writing process and see things from a broader perspective.

Writing coaches are a valuable resource for any writer who hopes to take their writing to the next level. A great writing coach can’t write your book for you, but they can certainly make the entire process easier.

Do Writing Coaches Specialize in Genres Such As Fiction?

Not all writing coaches are the same. Many specialize in specific genres and specific types of coaching.

Here are some examples of broad genres that writing coaches might specialize in:

  • Fiction genres (e.g., literary fiction, fantasy, or romance)
  • Nonfiction genres (e.g., history, biography, or self-help)
  • Screenwriting
  • Poetry
  • Blogs
  • PhD dissertations
  • Grant applications
  • Workplace communications

Also, different writing coaches come from different backgrounds that might influence their coaching styles.

For example, if you choose a writing coach with an editorial background, they might be more skilled at critiquing your work and offering you specific feedback on your prose. They might assign you exercises to help improve your writing craft.

On the other hand, if you choose a writing coach who’s also a successful author, they might have firsthand career experience to share that can help you achieve similar success.

Alternatively, you could choose a writing coach who has training as a life coach. In that case, they might be better at helping you face your fears and solve problems that are preventing your writing success.

Cost of Hiring a Writing Coach

Writing coaches have built up years of writing skills and career expertise, so their time is valuable.

Different writing coaches charge different rates. Their hourly rate depends on their level of coaching experience, their specific writing credentials, and other similar factors.

At the lower end of the scale, you should expect to pay at least $50 per hour for a private writing coach.

If you’re hiring a coach with a proven track record of coaching success and top-tier writing credentials, such as New York Times bestseller status, they might charge over $200 an hour.

You can also look for a writing coach who’s willing to work with a group of writers, which usually costs less than a private coach. The downside is that the guidance you receive will be less personalized to you and your own writing journey.

Top 5 Tips on Finding the Best Writing Coach for You

So, where do you start if you’re looking for a writing coach?

Tip 1: Figure Out What Type of Help You Need

Before you start looking for a writing coach, you need to know what you want.

Do you want help improving your writing style? Help building a sustainable writing schedule? Help revising a first draft of an existing project?

Not all writing coaches provide the same services. Knowing why you need a writing coach can help you narrow down your parameters.

Tip 2: Research Options From Multiple Sources

There are lots of ways to find a writing coach.

One great way is by joining a writing community, such as an online writing workshop or a local writers group. You can ask other members of the community if they’ve worked with writing coaches before, which can help you gain insight into what different coaching styles are like.

Another way is by looking up your favorite professional writer, blogger, or editor to see if they offer coaching services. There’s a chance you can work with someone you already admire.

Finally, you can read through online resources to look for coaches. Many writing blogs and articles offer coaching recommendations.

Tip 3: Choose the Right Coaching Style for You

You have to establish a lot of trust to successfully work with a writing coach. In order to get the best results, you’ll need to be able to show your coach work you’re not proud of, admit your weaknesses, and confess your fears.

It will be hard to establish that level of trust if your coach’s style isn’t compatible with your personality.

For example, maybe you need someone who will tell you the harsh truth, even if it hurts to hear, because that fuels your writing. Or maybe you need someone who cushions their critiques with praise because you need to feel good about your writing to stay motivated.

If you know what kind of style you’re looking for, you’ll be able to pick a coach who’s a good fit for you.

Tip 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

When you’ve found a potential writing coach, don’t jump right into signing a contract with them. Start by asking them different questions about their coaching style and what you can expect if you work together.

Ask about their availability to make sure their schedule is compatible with yours. Ask about their preferred communication channels, such as phone calls, Zoom meetings, or email.

You can also ask if you can watch how they coach another author or if you can speak to one of the authors they’ve worked with. Some coaches will say no to respect their clients’ privacy, but others will say yes if the client gives their permission.

The more questions you ask, the more you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

Tip 5: Utilize Multiple Resources

Even after you’ve hired a good writing coach, the journey isn’t over—far from it. There are many more resources and tools you can use, even with a coach helping you.

Many writers hire multiple people to help them work on their project. A writing coach can be a great complement to other writing professionals, such as ghostwriters and editors.

If you choose to hire multiple professionals, it’s important to clearly establish what you’re hoping each person will help you with.

You can also use editing software and AI-powered writing tools in conjunction with your coach’s advice. Feedback from multiple sources will ensure you give your writing a strong chance of success.

Writing Coach vs Writing Tool

Many writers wonder whether to invest in a writing coach or a writing tool. The answer comes down to what you’re looking for.

Both human coaches and digital tools can provide useful practical advice but in different ways.

There are some services only a human coach can provide, such as life experience, a genuine connection, and an empathetic perspective. If you want someone you can talk to about your writing problems, a writing tool might not be the best choice for you.

But there are many ways in which an AI-powered tool can serve as a fantastic writing coach as well.

For example, if your primary goal is to get feedback on your writing, a writing software can give you great personalized suggestions. Or, if you want to learn more about ways to improve your writing skills, an online tool can give you a treasure trove of resources.

Another important factor to consider is price. Most private writing coaches charge at least $50 an hour, which is a prohibitive cost to many aspiring writers. Most writing tools, on the other hand, can provide an entire month of personalized guidance for less money than an hour with a private coach.

If there’s room in your budget, you can always hire a human writing coach and use an AI tool at the same time. That way, you can reap the benefits of both options.

Why ProWritingAid Is a Great AI Writing Coach

If you’re looking for an AI writing coach, ProWritingAid is a great option.

ProWritingAid is an editing software that will check your work for grammar and spelling mistakes, as well as suggest ways to improve the style and readability of your writing.

You can also access a wealth of educational materials through ProWritingAid, including in-app explanations, video lessons, and interviews with famous writers. With these resources, you can develop your innate writing abilities while using the tool.

Finally, ProWritingAid includes a community of other writers who are all hoping to improve their skills as well. Joining the community can be a great resource for improving your writing trajectory by learning from one another.

Good luck, and happy writing!

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Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

Hannah is a speculative fiction writer who loves all things strange and surreal. She holds a BA from Yale University and lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her painting watercolors, playing her ukulele, or hiking in the Rockies. Follow her work on or on Twitter at @hannahxyang.

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