Why Authors Still Need Human Editors and Coaches

by | Apr 24, 2023 | Business of Writing | 1 comment

Writing is a deeply personal and creative endeavor, but it is also a collaborative process. Authors often work with a variety of professionals to help them bring their stories to life. From editors to book coaches, these professionals provide a critical perspective that can help authors refine their work and make it more engaging for readers.

In today’s world, there are many writing tools and software programs available that can help authors with everything from grammar and punctuation to plot development and character arcs. While these tools are certainly helpful, they cannot replace the value of working with a human editor or book coach. Here are some reasons why authors need human interaction to improve their writing:

Human editors provide an objective perspective

When you are deeply invested in your writing, it can be difficult to see it objectively. You may be blind to mistakes or inconsistencies that are apparent to someone else. This is where a human editor can be invaluable. They can provide an objective perspective on your work, highlighting areas that need improvement and suggesting changes that can make your writing more engaging.

Basically, you get word-blind, and see what you thought you wrote, not what you actually put on the page. Software can help you spot these issues, but it isn’t perfect. A human editor offers you another layer of checks that can take your story from good to great. 

Book coaches can help you stay motivated

Writing a book can be a long and challenging process. It can be easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed along the way. A book coach can help you stay motivated by providing encouragement, support, and guidance. They can also help you set goals and develop a plan for completing your book.

Also, book coaches can help you on a deeper level, including helping you find your “why” for writing this story in the first place, and helping you develop the goals and motivation you need to keep going when things get tough. Because they will. 

Human interaction can spark creativity

Writing is a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. When you work with a human editor or book coach, you have the opportunity to bounce ideas off of someone else. This can spark your creativity and lead to new insights and ideas that you may not have discovered on your own.

Even if you don’t agree with the advice a writing coach or editor gives you, what doesn’t work for you and help point you to what will. 

Human editors and book coaches can help you find your voice

Every writer has a unique voice, but it can be difficult to find and refine that voice on your own. A human editor or book coach can help you identify and develop your voice, ensuring that your writing is authentic and engaging.

If you have not found your voice yet, the next logical step can be a developmental editor or coach, who can give you direction you might not find otherwise. 

They can help you improve your writing skills

While writing tools and software programs can be helpful, they are not a substitute for developing your writing skills. Working with a human editor or book coach can help you identify areas where you need improvement and provide guidance on how to develop those skills.

Grammar and punctuation are one thing, but English, especially in fiction, can be complicated. There are conventional word orders, methods for showing and not telling your reader the story, tropes in your genre, and more. Software can only make so many corrections, including AI. A human editor takes you the rest of the way. 

Think of each edit someone does for you as a writing lesson. Learn from it, and improve so your next draft is even better. 

They can help you navigate the publishing process

Publishing a book can be a complex and confusing process, especially for first-time authors. Human editors and book coaches can provide guidance on everything from choosing a path to publication to formatting and even offer tips on marketing your work once your draft is complete.

You’ll need a publishing partner no matter what your path forward, whether that is a publisher and agent or another support system.

They can help you refine your message

What’s your theme? What is your book really about? What’s the premise? How will the reader be changed when they have finished reading it? These are the important things that keep readers coming back to your future books. You are building trust with the reader, and entertaining and educating them. 

We all have a reason for writing fiction. Your readers will share that reason when they read your work. An editor helps you bring that out and make it clear. 

They can help you avoid common writing pitfalls

Every writer makes mistakes, but some mistakes are more common than others. Human editors and book coaches can help you identify and avoid these common writing pitfalls, ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and engaging.

Readers spot these as well, even though they may not know what, exactly is wrong with your work. They know something is off, and it can keep them from reading more of your work or even from finishing the book they are reading now. 

They can provide emotional support

Writing can be an emotional journey, and it can be helpful to have someone to talk to who understands what you are going through. Human editors and book coaches can provide emotional support and help you work through any challenges or obstacles that you may encounter along the way.

Not to say they should be your only support. You should also engage with writers at conferences and in local writers’ groups, like the Idaho Writers Guild

They can help you become a better writer

Ultimately, working with a human editor or book coach can help you become a better writer. They can provide the guidance, support, and feedback you need to refine your skills and produce writing that is engaging, authentic, and resonates with readers. That’s what we all want, isn’t it?

In conclusion, while writing tools and software programs can be helpful, they cannot replace the value of a human editor and the connections you make with them. Your editor can become a lifelong friend, fan, and support system.

Find a trusted editor on our trusted partner page, or visit one of our many events. We can’t wait to meet you. 

We hope to see all of you in April and at our various events throughout the year!