Writing Coaching

writing coaching

Do you need to become a better writer — fast?

Are you struggling with writing an article, a report, a resume or even a book? Sure, you can hire a professional to do the job for you. Or maybe you can persuade a friend or colleague to do the work. Or you can procrastinate, leaving your writing for the very last minute, just before it’s due. (Like you did in college).

But these strategies are often ineffective or frustrating, not leading to a polished piece of prose that works for you and your readers.

Don’t get stressed by writing. Instead, let me give you the information and teach you the techniques that will help you succeed. I can also answer any questions you have about the writing, editing or publishing process.

I am now accepting clients for September 2018 and beyond.

What makes me such an expert on writing?

I started working in the newspaper business when I was 15 and moved on to become a senior editor at a large metropolitan daily. While doing that stint I also edited and produced two best-selling cookbooks. From there, I became communications director of the publishing company, leaving shortly after my children were born. I started Gray-Grant Communications in 1995, doing a wide range of corporate consulting.

Here’s the part that might interest you: Although I was a natural editor, I suffered from years of distress about my own writing shortcomings — even while working at a daily newspaper. Once I left, I spent three years researching how to write faster and better. I now enjoy writing just as much as I like editing and I can teach you the same strategies I use. I’m also author of the popular book 8½ Steps to Writing Faster Better

How can we work together?

Here’s a list of the type of coaching I offer:

Non-fiction writing coaching: Are you eager to pick up your writing speed but don’t have a clue where to begin? Are you stalled in a particular project or chronically unhappy with your writing process? Talk to me about your goals and challenges and I’ll give you some tailored, just-for-you writing coaching about how to save time, stay focused, make the process far less painful and keep writer’s block at bay.

Academic writing coaching: Many academics struggle with writing, whether for a dissertation, articles for peer-reviewed journals, grant proposals or books. You may lack confidence in your writing ability or you may struggle with finding the time to finish your projects. Sadly, most universities do very little to help support the writing process and, some even make it unnecessarily difficult. I provide a safe place allowing you to overcome your fears and I can give you the tools and knowledge that will help you develop a reliable writing habit.

Self-publishing coaching: Have you always aspired to write a book but been daunted by the publishing process? The bad news is that it’s harder than ever to find a traditional publisher. But the good news is that self-publishing has now become a reasonable option. It not only gives you more control but it allows you to see your book in print faster. It also needn’t cost you a lot of money and, best of all, you can keep most of the cover price (rather than a measly 10% or less royalty.)

Coaching the coaches: If you’re a coach — it doesn’t matter what type — you need to be able to communicate with your clients and potential clients. They expect articles, blog pages and sales pages, outlining how you can help them. If you don’t like writing or haven’t been trained how to do it, this job can be extraordinarily painful. Don’t let your fear of writing cost you money by keeping you from your clients. Let me help you develop a reliable and pain-free writing habit.

Fiction writing coaching: I am NOT a fiction writer myself but my fiction-writing clients tell me that the techniques I teach work equally well for them. I am also a long-time committed reader of literary fiction (I read more than 52 books every year) and I have well-formed opinions about what works and what doesn’t. Don’t let your novel wither on your hard-drive. Instead of procrastinating, learn how my writing technique can help make you more productive.

How much do I charge?

I charge $250 for a one-time one-hour session but you can get a discount by booking one of my packages: 4 hour-long sessions for $599 or eight hour-long sessions for $999. But don’t work with me without checking me out for free, first. I offer a free 15-minute consult for anyone who’s considering coaching with me. If you’d like such a meeting please fill out this very brief questionnaire.


Photo session I had done to get pictures for my online profile.I've been struggling with writing for 18 years and with your help, I think I've finally found the method to make it less painful and maybe even enjoyable! Writing in the morning gives me a huge sense of accomplishment throughout the day. And I'm amazed at how easy it is to write 500 words when I've done the research and I have something to say.  

Rev. Suzanne Gorhau,
Centerville, Iowa


Liz WilliamsThat was one great coaching session -- thank you.  I feel much saner now, and ready to launch my own 52-week program. I also feel much better about the tech side of things, which is a big relief.

Liz Williams
Alameda, California


Patricia-Murphy-Globel-smI really enjoyed our session yesterday. You explained everything very well and it didn’t feel rushed.   I liked your tips around finding those stories and anecdotes that make an article come to life.  I also quite liked the Skype format. It’s the first time I’ve used it for something like that and it was great.

Patricia Murphy-Globe
Halifax, Nova Scotia


Mary KnickerbockerI have recommended your one-on-one session to other writers. Even your list of questions helped me crystallize exactly what I wanted from the session. Any writer hoping to hone their craft could benefit from your counsel.

Mary Knickerbocker
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Gerda-McDonough That was a really useful session. You were clear, concise and generous with your knowledge. Thanks!

Gerda McDonough
Los Angeles, CA


You have been kind and helpful and supportive. I wish there was another word for thank you. In this case repetition is correct: THANK YOU.  

Isabella Bick
New York, New York


I was struggling with a fairly big project and needed some help. So I set up an appointment with Daphne. I’d never done this before and really had no idea what to expect. So we began talking and it rolled along. Very rich discussion. Later, when I had time to listen to the recording, I was really amazed. I’d hung up thinking, “Ok, that was good.” But when I went back I had a completely different take on it. It was way better than “good.” Chock full of good ideas and practical suggestions.

Richard Pelletier,

Website copywriter

Portland, Oregon


I found your phone consult informative and comprehensive enough to inspire me to begin what I now understand is a fairly detailed but doable process needed to get a book published.  

Keith Pattinson
Richmond, B.C.


I very much appreciated all your tips and thoughts. I especially welcomed the suggestion to check out companies that might want to partner on my book and your ideas regarding the expense of printing in color, the danger of warehousing books, and your thoughts on Amazon’s publishing arm.

Christel Hall
Minden, NV


Thank you very much for coaching me last month. So many good ideas from many sources of inspiration! And I now have better tools and ideas for writing in general.

Ramona Swenson, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant/Aquatic ecologist
Sacramento, California


Thanks Daphne! I'm not sure what I was expecting with today’s session, but my eyes are opened to a number of changes I need to make. I felt the session was really worthwhile and an exercise that would benefit all writers to do on a regular basis.

Michelle Clements
Public Relations Manager
Portland Water District,
Portland, Oregon


Batten-Down-the-Hatches Writing Coaching

Are you really serious about picking up your writing speed? Do you need to become someone who “gets inspired” every day of the week? Do you want to find writing fun and life-affirming rather than painful and joy-sucking? In this gently structured series of four hour-long writing coaching sessions (once a week for a month on the phone or by Skype/FaceTime), I’ll get you to talk me through your existing writing process. Then I’ll:

  • tweak your mindmapping to make sure it’s 100% effective
  • help you identify and hone your voice
  • work with you to ensure you’re not editing while you write
  • address issues related to budgeting your writing time.

The four steps listed above are the most common challenges facing non-fiction writers. If, however, you want to cover other areas more important to you, I can easily adjust. You’ll also receive one full month of unlimited email support. Cost: $599.

Joseph KaoNormally, after going on a training course or attending a presentation, I would have a few comments about how it could have been improved. But in the case of these coaching calls, I'm afraid I have no constructive criticism to offer — I thought they were absolutely excellent.

Joeseph Kao
London, England


Debra-JonesI enrolled in faith because I truly knew you were the one to help me, but I had no idea what that was going to look like. Thank you for holding me accountable to be the person you saw me to be. What used to take me a gruelling four hours, I can now write in a pleasurable 40 minutes!

Debra Jones
Bozeman, MT


Lawyers Mutual Headshots '11You were very good about answering specific questions and providing me with materials to review, websites to view, and specific tools to use such as the readability stats. I liked how you had a plan for each session -- the time flew by. This coaching series was very productive for me.

Camille Stell
Cary, North Carolina


Jay Calleja-CR The “getting started” part of writing is still a challenge, in part because I’ve been juggling a lot of things, but your tips are helping, and the coaching has been really useful.

Jay Calleja
National Agricultural Aviation Association
Alexandria, VA


You have given me structure to get the writing done in manageable bits, encouragement that allows me to believe that I can actually do this and my time with you has been a whole lot of fun. I appreciate your willingness to share your experience with writing a book. And your generosity with resources, books and referrals has saved me so much time and likely a lot of misery!
Donna Powers
Calgary, Alberta


I was fortunate enough to be referred to Daphne by a colleague who understood both my needs, and Daphne's strengths as a writing and editing coach. As a writer, I tend to over produce material, and need help distilling fine tuning it. Daphne was extremely helpful in both areas. She provided me with lots of resources to help me hone my writing, and was extremely professional, flexible and easy to work with.

Jill Temkin, MA
Living Thin Within
Ukiah, CA


Wow! I can’t believe what a difference one month of coaching has made. I’ve written almost 10,000 words and I’m close to finishing my second chapter. You systematic approaches, expertise, and compassion are helping me to reach my goal of writing my book. I just wish that I had followed up with you when I started reading your weekly column three years ago.

Rob Jackson,
Colorado Springs, CO


I got a lot out of our sessions. Your advice is always practical and do-able. I find that you make suggestions that feel encouraging and make me feel that it is possible for me to improve my academic writing, do more accessible writing, and publish in non-academic venues.

Tracy Isaacs
Department of Women's Studies/Philosophy
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario


Your coaching was really helpful. I can see results in terms of output  and stress levels. I  actually look forward to writing now! Your book, newsletter, and blogs are great, but nothing beats being able to talk to you one-on-one. Now I feel I have real tools and information that I can use and share with my colleagues and staff.  

Tina Chiu
New York, New York


Thomas HackneyI found it very stimulating to get your detailed feedback on my writing. That helped a lot to make your suggestions tangible. I'm now paying more attention to my words, to make them more direct and active.

Thomas Hackney,
Vancouver, B.C.

Email me at daphne at publicationcoach dot com to book any of these writing coaching sessions.