This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg
I was not always a writer. I really had no desire to write beyond a diary, a few love letters to my husband, and poems. I always liked poetry. My husband went back to college at an older age and in one of his courses he had to write short stories, so I helped him. His teachers would share his stories with other teachers, and tell him, “You should be a writer.” He’d come home and say to me, “You should be a writer.” I’d laugh it off.
A few years later, a book came out—Harry Potter, there was much controversy over this book, and I thought hmm—wizard, I could write a Christian Alternative Book for tweens. So I did. I poured over this manuscript day and night, I finished it at around 100,000 words. My husband read it and my daughter read it. Their conclusion, I should take a course in writing. I did. I spent eight years learning to write but still didn’t feel like a writer. I needed something else. I NEEDED A WRITING COACH.
I was starting a new novel and was having trouble getting it moving in the right direction. I was in a writing group and one man stood out. He was constantly giving advice and helping others. I approached him with a job opportunity to be my writing coach. He accepted. He later became my friend and my mentor.
Dennis Newman was his name, the last I heard from him was an email telling me he had Alzheimer’s.
We started working on this novel and he’d stop me at almost every paragraph and ask me questions, and give me little assignments. He opened my eyes in ways the schooling had not done. I continually paid him extra money for little bits of advice, and we’d work on projects. He was very much a stickler for details, and he was a perfectionist.
For example: Describe a flower in a way that a blind person could visualize it. Then describe how the flower makes you feel. Describe it in a field filled with weeds. This exercise would go on and on.
We worked on writing tight and finding the exact word to describe a situation.
The novel never got written past the first chapter and we worked on it for three years. I would gladly do this all over again. He enriched my writing. He truly was my friend first, then my coach, and then my mentor.
There was a negative, my writing had beautiful descriptions, but it lacked my personal flair. I had become too much like him, and that didn’t work for me. It took a long time to shake off this veil I had surrounded myself with. So don’t stay with the same coach for too long, even though I’m glad I did.
Do get a coach if you can afford one. if you can’t join a writing group. More about writing groups in another blog. A mentor is better and a friend is the best.
In Stamp Out Murder James learns many things, he comes from Washington DC to the backwoods of West Virginia and experiences a culture shock. He learns what it means to have real friends, he also has mentors who help him along.
Where to look for a writing coach:
- Writing coaches for hire
- Writing Groups
- Word of Mouth
***Do you have any suggestions on where to find a writing coach? Do you think you would benefit from a Writing Coach? What would you expect from one? If you have ever had one, share a little about that experience.***
Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores.
“The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
Boys Will Be Boys The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
Please join me on my Facebook Fanpage that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE