This is a time of year when we’re filled with hope that we’ll achieve great things. Writing a book is up there on that list of great ambitions, and for many people, making a start. It’s pretty daunting when you’re standing at the bottom of the mountain, looking up at the peaks you’ll need to scale.
A couple of years ago, I created a service to help these budding authors reach the top of that mountain. It’s called The Writing Space and it’s based on the idea that taking the time out to figure out what you want to write is the first vital step on that journey up the mountain. It offers a map that will guide them up the mountain, with easy steps to follow, so they can break the journey down into bitesize chunks.
Put in practical terms, The Writing Space is a coaching service that helps people crystallise the idea that’s been germinating at the back of their minds, and gives them a structure that will help them put a shape to their ideas and finish their book.
The Writing Space is aimed at people who want to write a novel, a collection of short stories or a memoir. There are two types of people that it particularly suits.
- People who have always wanted to write a book, but find it hard to narrow themselves down to one idea.
- People who have a very specific idea for a book and need help expanding that idea to fit it into book form.
These people may never have written in their lives, or may already have started the book, but find themselves stuck at an impasse and need help continuing.
The Coaching Session
I organise one-hour coaching sessions with these potential authors, where we discuss their ideas and how to bring them to fruition. We start with why they want to write. It is that why, that passion, that will help push them forward during the tough climb that lies ahead. We also discuss their potential audience, who the book is aimed at, and what category of writing it would fit into. If people don’t have a specific idea yet, we discuss topics that could be mined for book ideas – their passions, areas of expertise and important life events.
Outcomes of the Session
Based on what we discuss, I will then give recommendations on how they can move forward. I will give advice on structure and how to divide ideas into chapters. I will give feedback on the form their book will take, whether it should be a novel or a memoir. I will also point them towards resources which will be helpful to them in writing their book, such as websites, how-to guides and courses.
I will summarise the points discussed in our session in a report, which will also include the recommendations I have given. For non-fiction works, I will suggest a potential chapter structure, which will outline the topics that will be covered in each chapter. For fictional works, I will give suggestions regardingcharacterisation, plot, setting and point of view. If the person hasn’t written before, I will suggest topics for them to write about and exercises that will help them get started.
In many people’s minds, coaching and consultancy can seem beyond the reach of their budget. If people want to avail of expert advice but are constrained by budget, they can avail of the coaching session only, as it will still give them the tools they need to scale the mountain. Also, The Writing Space gives people the chance to get one to one attention from a professional writer, and I aim to ensure that they’ll feel the investment was worth it.
Would you find a service like this useful? Have you ever availed of such a service?