Wednesday, March 24, 2010

weekly writing coach: choosing a coach

(The don't get caught blog completes its 5th year this month.  Here's a still-relevant post from 2006 on choosing a writing coach to go above and beyond what you read in this feature each week.)  When you consider training options for yourself or your team, consider a writing coach. You'll get individualized instruction that's tailored to your level, needs and issues, something that off-the-rack training sessions rarely accomplish. You can set -- and meet -- goals with coaching over a three- or six-month period, or longer. And coaching can combine group and individual training: We often train a group of 4 to 5 writers on one staff in the morning, then spend the afternoon in one-on-one sessions with members of the group, an effective way to gain shared knowledge as well as targeted help. Here are some of the challenges that have prompted don't get caught clients to seek my writing coach services:
  • I want my editor to make fewer red marks: We can help you stop repeat errors and learn to self-edit to make your results (and your editor's job) better.
  • I have a new, high-profile assignment writing for the CEO: When you're tapped to write for a leader, we can help you brainstorm style points and review techniques that matter in leadership writing projects.
  • My writers need help sharpening the focus of their stories: Finding the core of a story takes more than a snappy lead. We offer workshops and individual instruction on brainstorming, focusing and exploring a story core to give writers a system that works.
  • We need better headlines: "Microcontent," such as headlines, captions and call-outs, take on more importance when writing appears on the Web -- and make all the difference in capturing reporters' attention on news releases. We can help you write and edit crisper, more informative headlines for all sorts of content.
  • I rely on cut-and-paste for my content: And you're cutting and pasting in others' errors, voices and spin, too. We'll teach you how to edit cut-and-paste to make it your own, fitting your needs while making use of this common resource.
  • I can't stop rewriting: Then we say: Plan ahead. Learn our techniques for gathering information and creating a content-rich outline before you start, to limit the need for rewrites. Our self-editing steps make the best -- and last-- draft, far better than another rewrite.
Sound familiar? For more information on one-on-one writing coaching services, or group workshops, contact Denise Graveline at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz.

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