Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Writing Coaches

Just when I thought that I was almost finished writing my novel, a mentor of mine named Susan Shapiro, told me to get a writing coach. At first, Shapiro was checking my work in a writing class that I attended at The New School for free (courtesy of Shapiro which she doesn't extend to everyone), but due to her being overwhelmed with tons of students papers to grade, I ended up hiring a personal writing coach named Michelle Herrera Mulligan (Editor of the Anthology Juicy Mangos and former editor of Latina Magazine) after taking Shapiro's advice.

Michelle Herrera Mulligan & Jasmine Clemente

Working with a personal writing coach is extremely effective because they focus all of their attention on your project instead of dividing their attention with many. Although joining classes are fun and helpful too, the personal writing coach will give you more constructive criticism, become more engaged in your story, give you extra ideas on how to be more imaginative, brainstorm with you, help your story flow from one chapter to the next, give you a readers perspective, and of course, they edit!  

The universe will provide the right people

Since I've began working with Michelle, I've seen major improvements with my story. She loves the drama! And tells me not to doubt myself or leave juicy details out. Just when I think a scene might be too graphic, she tells me, "That's what people want to read! Write more of it!" So with Michelle, I feel confident about allowing my story to unfold without shying away. I mean, if the story is boring for me to write then it'll probably be boring for others to read. Therefore, I become uninhibited when I write, letting all my thoughts spill out like a river flowing. No reason to go against nature if it's art.

On a slightly different note, having a personal writing coach also gives one the opportunity to embrace a new friendship. Not everyone will achieve this due to lifestyles and conflicting schedules - and that's okay, but speaking for myself, I've gained an amazing friend in Michelle, and it's great to attract people who are going in a similar direction and who will share the success.

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