Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The joy of progress

Fresh from my session as writing coach with an individual client. He's my first and only, as I wasn't sure whether I'd find this kind of one-on-one too demanding and involving.

When teaching a long course of 15 or so students I always schedule tutorials, and find it hard to limit myself to 10-15 mins each. Funny how it can take as long to discuss 2 poems as a whole chapter or short story -- I think because I always need to figure out why and how the writer has missed, to help the writer know the process of the writer-reader experience in order to improve. This requires my engagement with each writer as person as well as the individual work -- intensive, yes. But worth it.

How would one writer and a whole hour (or two) be -- more intense? 7 months in (4 sessions) we both are very happy. We meet every 6-8 weeks; he supplies his packet of writing a week before the face-to-face session. No phone or email coaching in-between, as agreed in our guidelines at start. So intensity of involvement is no problem and it feels a luxury and privilege to go in depth with one writer. What's more I get paid.

Best of all, this client can write, has something to say and learns fast, absorbing constructive criticism, adapting and incorporating to improve the flow of his style and to find the voice for his project. A joy!

Interested in process? My own book includes 23 pp, 11 exercises on writing process (toot-toot, my own horn, click right column). Re 1-to-1 consider The Write Guide: Mentoring by Martin Goodman and Sara Maitland

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