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For Writers

Notebook and Pen
Philosophy on Coaching and Editing

From kindergarten through university, my teachers were often frustrated by my insistence to know “Why?” and many eventually resorted to the unsatisfying answer of “It just is!” when I had pushed them too far. I was not being obtuse or difficult, I genuinely wanted to know. It is my belief that learning is most effective when reinforced with execution and understanding rather than rote regurgitation or blind adherence to unexplained rules. Coaches and mentors should push writers to expand their knowledge base by engaging in challenging conversations about the form and function of their work and encouraging critical thought about the stories they write. This belief forms the foundation of my own pedagogical philosophy on coaching and mentoring.

When I am approached by someone seeking assistance, my first question is “Why?” This is not intended to create distance between us, but rather to draw the individual into a conversation about their problem. Often, the simple act of explaining a problem will illuminate a previously hidden solution without intervention from an outside source. As a writing coach and mentor, my job is not to “do for” the writer but rather to empower and guide him to do for himself.

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