Joyce Glass is a writer, speaker, writing coach and lover of most things chocolate! Her desire is to encourage you to write your book and share your expertise with the world. She loves to teach the power of story in nonfiction, and has a passion to see you connect with your clients and customers.
She has self-published two books while helping others create their nonfiction book. Weekly she shares writing tips on her podcast The Write Hour – Nonfiction Tips From The Write Coach.
The best part of being a writing coach is watching her clients create their own masterpiece, and seeing their joy when they share it with the world.
You can connect with Joyce through social media and on her website www.thewritecoach.biz
How did you become a book coach?
It took me four years to write my first book, and that’s what lead me to coaching. I tried this, and tried that, and worked really hard, but I didn’t make a whole lot of progress. Finally, when I got a system down, that’s when it helped me. It also encompasses my love for teaching, because I love to teach people concepts that they aren’t sure about or don’t know, and then watch them grow. It’s so much fun for me. It’s the blend of all of my gifts in the perfect way.
What are lessons you’ve learned as a writing coach?
I, now that I edit so much, am much more conscientious when I’m writing, and I’ve got to turn that editor off sometimes. But, it’s also helped me make my writing stronger.
What does a coaching session look like?
With each client, I always start them with getting their content organized. We have a lot of fun. I get to know them. We work hard, and I take them through the steps. And then after they get their clarity and they get their outline done, then I take them on the journey of actually writing. Essentially, when you’re working with me you’re getting coaching and editing all at the same time.
Explain the coach/client relationship.
You need the mindset that this is like a business. You need to have that kind of seriousness. If you didn’t show up for work every day, you wouldn’t get paid and you’d eventually get fired. Essentially, the relationship is that if you want to get the book done, then you need to make the commitment to do it. I want that kind of client, who is ready to get it done.
How do you know when you’re ready to hire a writing coach?
I’d say even if you’re at the beginning stages you can use a writing coach. But, you’ve got to be ready to be serious about it, because it is a commitment. If you’re not ready to get serious – if you know you want to do this, but you’re not quite there yet – just keep writing. The main thing is get the content out there, and then we can make it beautiful later.
Do you have any advice for writers who are considering becoming a book coach?
Take baby steps. Get one or two clients. Don’t try to get five at one time. Get a process. I learned how to create a system to take them through. Figure out a process that works for you, and a style that works for you. And know the kind of client that you want, the kind of book that you want.
What is your four step process to the “Best Book Ever?”
(This is the process in a general since. A complete course in the process can be found for free at www.thewritecoach.biz)
1. Know your general, overarching topic 2. Break that down into your specific topic 3. Know the desired outcome. What do you want the reader to think, know or do after reading the book. 4. How can they achieve this outcome?
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to a new writer?
Give yourself permission to free-write, to get your ideas out. Then you can go back and get that organized.
How can people be generous in an industry sometimes known for being super competitive and cutthroat? Not just generous but over generous? Authors Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett talk about their careers in writing, their friendship, and how partnership and generosity have increased their success and influence with things like Serious Writer and more.
Check it out below:
In this episode:
Michelle tells the story of how she got to this point in her career.
Bethany tells the story of her career.
How purpose and helping others should drive writing careers (and all of us!)
The importance of generosity and partnership in life and business.
The genesis and vision of Serious Writer.
How a bad proposal and a book contract led to a revolutionary approach to writing books that help people.
Writing nonfiction carries a promise to the reader that not only extends to the book as a whole, but also within chapters, and to be nitty gritty, the sub-headings as well.
If you pick up a book called “Get Out of Debt in Six Months or Less,” you expect the author to share tips and strategies to do just that. Inside of Chapter One, titled “Sell Everything You Own and Live in a Van Down By the River,” the author is promising to share not only how to significantly reduce your possessions, but how to relocate to a waterside location.
If the author talks about reducing credit card debt in this chapter, a promise has been broken and subconsciously, the trust factor wanes.
Introducing the Boomerang Method
After you’ve written your first draft (remember, Stephen King says that first one is just for you) you get to play with the content. Move it around. Delete it. Add subheadings. Fill in gaps. And make sure that everything you’re talking about in the chapter relates back to the promise of the chapter.
It must boomerang.
The chapter title, subtitle, and opening lines throw out the promise…and the rest of the content strengthens and explains that promise by always relating it back. Boomerang!
As the author, you set the tone and parameters for your topic and your audience reads in good faith that you’re going to provide them value. One of the biggest mistakes we make as authors is trying to cram too much information into our articles, posts, or chapters. When we overdo, we aren’t digging deeper into the content, instead, we’re only scraping the surface like a rake across a zen garden.
This is easily understood when it comes to chapter content with clear boundaries. In my dating guide, the chapters on Red Flags, Kissing, and Modesty may have had a little bit of crossover, but not much. It was easy to know which stories went in each chapter and which tips and dating rules to include in each.
The trickier part was making sure that the subheadings were always appropriate within each chapter. Guidelines on how to navigate the engagement months didn’t boomerang to the promise given in the chapter called Confidence, and so on.
This may seem like we’re focusing on extremely nit-picky details, but I believe this is one of the marks of great writing. The next time you’re editing your work, look at sections inside your chapters. Are you relating everything back to the specific topic at hand? Are you giving information without explaining to your reader why it needed to be in this specific chapter?
I’ll admit this is one of the hardest parts of self-editing for my own work, and it’s often the feedback I’m looking for with my first readers.
Every story matters.
Every word matters.
Grab your coffee, your water bottle, or whatever drink is closest to you and raise it with me. Here’s to great writing and high standards. Cheers.
Bethany Jett is the Co-Owner of Serious Writer, Inc., and Vice President of Platinum Literary Services where she specializes in marketing, nonfiction proposal creation, ghostwriting, and developmental editing. Her love for email funnels and social media led to her pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree in Communication with an emphasis in marketing and public relations.