I have been working on my nonfiction project Emotionally Intense! a lot this week,  writing the third section of the book that deals with teaching parents how to be the emotional coach for their children.

In the midst of analysing the specific skills necessary for effective coaching, I couldn’t help but think about my crit partners and the role they play in my life.  These partners do much more than simply shred my various works in progress.  They act as my personal coaches with regards to writing.

So, what does it take to be an effective coach – in writing or in life?

Three specific skills: communication, facilitation and inspiration.

Communication refers to the ability to effectively communicate with your partner.  Goodness knows my critique partners have this down.  Not only are they effective in pointing out the basic flaws in my writing, but they also communicate the items that are confusing, or those things that need to be fleshed out.  They ask questions, give encouragement, and guide me towards a particular way of looking at my work.

Facilitation refers to the act of teaching something – in this case writing – in such a way that I not only learn to write, but learn to recognize personal writing patterns, and improve on them.  For example, overusing specific words, not layering enough emotional depth, etc – These are things my crit partners have pointed out and as a result of their “tutoring”, I have become more aware of when and how I do these things.  I have changed as a writer…and my partners have facilitated that change.

Inspiration refers to the ways in which my partners force me to be better than I thought possible.  It requires faith on my part, and dedication of their part – both of which occur over time.  I am fortunate enough to have partners that have inspired in more ways thn I could ever truly express – something I am more than a little grateful for!!!

Great coaching = communication, facilitation and inspiration = my critique partners.  WOW, am I ever lucky to have found them!!!

Now its your turn:  Are you someone’s coach?  Do you have someone who “coaches” you?


6 thoughts on “Crit Partners and the Art of Coaching

  1. I thank heaven every day for a crit partner like you too 🙂 Both for your help on my projects, your support with everything from writing to every day life, and because you inspire me to work hard and try new things. You are awesomeness and I love ya! 🙂

    I also left an award for you on my blog today 😀 Happy Weekend!!

  2. I have a reader on my website who left several fantastic critiques on my book the other day. ^^ I also have a couple other long time critics slowly filtering in their own advice. It’s good as long as you take it well.

  3. I have a few coaches. My main one? Myself. I have to mentally coach myself through the things I know. The things I’ve learned. How to drown out the loud negative voices.

    When those don’t work, I turn to my other coaches. My crit buddies. Online friends. Family. Husband. It’s amazing, this life I have. I’m grateful for it. 🙂

  4. Ooh! This is one of my favorite posts so far! What a help to new writers who are looking for people to critique them. Thanks for sharing!

  5. My crit group are great coaches, especially since we’ve all grown in skill and confidence compared with our first novels. I trust them to bring out the best in my writing, and every time I edit my own stuff, I hear their voices in my head. Okay, that’s boardering on weird, but you get the picture. 😀

    Great post!

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