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Writers Write Better With Support

Finding support is the final step in my 4-Step Solution to Getting Your Nonfiction Book Out of Your Head and Onto the Page.

Writers are better with support, and this is especially true for writers working on a book-length project. Writing a book is a marathon, and writers are more likely to get to Mile 26.2 if they aren't going it alone.

Image: Two women sitting side-by-side looking at computer

Types of Support

Writers can benefit from various types of support.

Editorial Support

Here we are talking about support on the writing itself, ie., feedback on the page.

Who to Seek Editorial Support From

Family and friends: Just say no! Although it's tempting to ask family or friends to read and comment on your work-in-progress, this is almost always a bad idea. Even if people near and dear to you have experience with critique, it's difficult, if not impossible, for them to be objective.  

Writing groups and critique partners: These two options can be effective and low-cost (or free) choices for receiving feedback. Questions to ask and consider: Do the members of your writing group have experience critiquing? How about in your genre? Are you swapping pages with a single critique partner, and if so, is it hard for either of you to be objective? Are you moving forward/making progress in your manuscript with this kind of feedback or is it sending you writing in circles?

Beta readers: Beta readers are part of your target audience and read your manuscript before you send out to agents/publishers. It's best if your beta readers don't know you or don't know you well so they can read your pages without filtering them through their personal experience of you. Some beta readers will charge a fee. Consider offering an honorarium if they don't charge. 

Freelance editors and book coaches: Freelance editors and book coaches are professionals and can provide effective and objective feedback on your pages. Check out their websites, review their references and credentials, and make sure they have expertise in your genre.

When to Seek Editorial Support

At the start of your book project: If you can only afford professional support once in your book writing journey, invest in help before you write a single word. Getting clear on what your book is really about and who it is for will save you frustration (and time, energy, and money) in the future.  

After completing your first draft: Congratulations if you've made it to the end of your first draft! Many writers never make it there. But what do you do now? Before you plan your revision, consider seeking out a professional evaluation of your manuscript. 

After striking out with agents and publishers: You've drafted and polished and your manuscript is as strong as you can make it, but you aren't getting any interest from agents and publishers. This is a time to seek out feedback, ideally from a professional, to identify the problems in your manuscript that you can't see yourself. 

Accountability

Do you need support getting your butt in the chair? Accountability partners and book coaches can help you in this department. If you are cheap like I am (!), investing money in your writing may be just what you need to get the work done. I know that I never would have finished my two memoirs if I hadn't had my book coach waiting on my pages every two weeks or so. Find out what motivates you and build that into your accountability plan.

Emotional Support

Particularly with a book-length project, you are going to have our ups and downs. You will feel discouraged at times and want to give up. You need a cheerleader or two by your side to keep you going. That person could be part of your writing group, an accountability partner, a family member or friend, or a book coach. You need your people to keep you going. Find them.

Conclusion

Writing a book is a long-term project, and writers need editorial, accountability, and emotional support to make it to the end. Your writing community can help provide support with critique groups and/or critique partners. You can also hire a book coach who works alongside you as you write, providing accountability, feedback on the page, as well as emotional support along the way.

Find support. You’ll need it to get through the ups and downs of the book-writing journey so you can write a book that you will be proud of.

Looking for a certified book coach to support you in your nonfiction book writing journey? Learn more about how I can support you.

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