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 January 2019 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 clueless about 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 for 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 posts 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 techniques can help make you more productive.

What clients are saying

A huge sense of accomplishment

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

Detailed but doable process

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, BC

A big relief

That 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

Highly recommended

I 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

Helpful and supportive

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 didn’t feel rushed

I 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

How much do I charge?

I charge $250 for a one-hour session, but you can get a discount by booking my most popular package: $699 for four one-hour sessions (or eight 30-minute ones). 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.

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: $699.

Email me to book any of these writing coaching sessions.

What clients are saying

Appreciated your tips

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
PRowrite Public Relations
Minden, Nevada

Thank you for holding me accountable

I 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, Montana

Many good ideas

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, PhD
Senior consultant/Aquatic ecologist
Sacramento, California

Very productive

You 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

Absolutely excellent

Normally, 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.

Joseph Kao
London, England

Coaching has been really useful

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, Virginia

Email me to book any of these writing coaching sessions.

What clients are saying

Helped me hone my writing

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 overproduce material, and need help distilling and 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, California

Always practical 

I got a lot out of our sessions. Your advice is always practical and doable. 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

What a difference one month of coaching has made

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. Your 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, Colorado

Detailed feedback

I 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, BC

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