Writing Coach – niche cred and program structure questions

Hello Beautiful Brooke – would love your feedback on three questions.

I read Russel’s book as you recommended. My category is wealth – they earn money by publishing, and will earn more $ the more they publish. I want to narrow my niche to contemporary women’s fiction writers who have started a book, but are struggling to complete it. Their mind fills with doubt and confusion, while their writing time gets filled with distractions like endless researching when they want to feel productive, or Netflix when they’re too frustrated to care. They’re googling for help on overcoming “writer’s block” and on getting into a “writing routine.” So I’m a mind coach for authors writing contemporary women’s fiction and I specialize in the psychology of writing.

I help them doubt less, procrastinate less, and write more stories – with female characters that go through powerful character arcs.

Here is what I think is so cool: My clients are like their main character. They both have a goal, but they both have limiting beliefs that block their achievement of their goal, and so they both have an external and an internal character arc to journey through during the course of the book. My client goes through a transformative internal experience as they work with me ON the book, that will enable them to write a believable modern character who undergoes a powerful transformation IN the book.

Q1 = Russell says you should have already done what your clients want to do. I have an agent and I’ve published three books with big publishers (like Harper Collins) as well as contributed to other books. But they are all non-fiction. I’ve studied fiction writing, and coached some fiction writers, plus I teach creativity at a university, but I have not yet published a novel. So, do I need to go write and publish a contemporary women’s fiction novel before launching this coaching practice?

The “contemporary women’s fiction writer” is my marketing niche. I know I can coach novelists thru the mind blocks of book writing, regardless of whether or not I’ve written a novel. I also know I can “speak their language.” But will my marketing be less effective if I cannot say I’ve published a novel? Should I make a goal to do that first (or at some point) to fully be their charismatic leader as Russell describes?

Q2 = Would love your input on how I should structure this: 6 weeks? 8 weeks? 10 weeks? 12 weeks? Some clients might be in the starting phase and be several months away from completion of a novel, while others could have 70% of the book done and just want help pushing through the final weeks to finish. The former seems ripe for a longer contract, and therefore higher price. (I suppose this is like weight loss coaches who might have one client wanting to lose 12 lbs and one wanting to lose 40 – how do you handle and price that?)

Maybe because I’m a college professor and it’s how school works, I much prefer the idea of walking a group of clients through a block of content over a set period of time like a few months (while helping each individually on the side with their application of it) to having various clients with various start dates and different contact lengths depending on their situation, on different session topics each week. I really want to run programs with set starting and ending weeks throughout the year and a set price, that I move clients through while giving them individual attention via coaching calls, but I recall you’ve said to start with individual coaching before doing a group program. So can I do it like I envision?

I plan to help them get them into a writing routine at the start, and then delve deeper into the cognitive science of it all … teach them why writers historically and they specifically doubt and buffer, teach how change happens, teach them the model to use on their own, teach them how Creativity cognitively works, and help them revamp how they approach their work and what they believe is possible for their writing career. In addition to the teaching segments, I will do a weekly call where they can get specific, direct coaching from me.

Q3 = I could also have an optional bi-weekly deadline by which they are to send me some pages written from those weeks – not for a close read or editing by me, but for some general reaction from my intern. My goal in doing this would be to offer some accountability (via the deadlines), and some motivation (via some encouraging feedback). But I’m hesitant to do this because I do not want to get into editing their work, nor do I want to hamper their ability to learn to honor their own writing commitments even when there is no external deadline “pushing” them. So should I skip this offering because it could hinder that, even though it could ultimately help them get pages written while in the program, and it would probably seem like a value-add to them as they were deciding whether or not to do this program?

Your wisdom (and great coaching questions that help me find mine) is welcomed. Thanks!