top of page

You Have to Put In the Time

My working definition of a book coach is "the person who makes you want to put in the time on your book."

To some that may sound like a negative, but it's not. The main reason most novels go unfinished is that the writer is in love with the concept of writing, but not infatuated with the down and dirty, nitty-gritty of sitting down every day and pecking away on a keyboard.

I think it was Ray Bradbury who said the first million words don't count.

Writing is the only pursuit I know of in which a person believes there is no difference between a beginner and a pro.

Part of a book coach's job is to let his student in on the secret that anything worth doing well takes a lot of time and practice and that procrastination always whispers in a writer's ear, throwing her off cruise, suggesting another book she must read, another podcast to listen to, another YouTune video on writing to watch.

The hard truth is that writing is painstaking work. It's joyful all right, one of the most fulfilling pursuits human beings can engage in. But the joy of it only arrives when the writer pays her dues, sits in quiet desperation, and searches for just the right syllable, the one word that takes a sentence from being the same old same old to becoming a form of art.

Any book coach worth the title knows his client is the only person who can put his unique story on paper, that his student already holds the key to expression. But he also knows that what is trapped in the student's soul will never see the light of day unless the student puts in the time, day after day, week after week, month after month.

And those hours of writing will one day result in an aha moment only a writer can claim.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page