It’s not hyperbole to say that completing your book can make or break your career. In many disciplines, a book is essential for earning tenure. Despite the importance of publishing your book, nobody really shows you how to write one. So, you’re left asking questions like:
How long does it take to write a book?
Is my book a revised version of my dissertation?
When should I ask for feedback, and from whom?
How do I maintain progress on my book while working on other projects?
Are my ideas any good?
What if you had the answers to these questions, along with a plan for completing your book?
Instead of feeling overwhelmed, scared, and clueless about the writing process, you can:
Get feedback on your writing so you don’t feel as if you’re writing into a void.
Feel confident that you’re producing good scholarship.
Develop a realistic writing plan that puts you in control.
Make consistent progress so you’re not trapped in a cycle of perfectionism.
I’m here to demystify the writing process for you. Over the past 4 years, I’ve worked with dozens of book writers as a developmental editor and writing coach. Through this work, I’ve developed a system for combining the best of productivity coaching with consistent editorial feedback.
When I was a junior faculty member on the tenure track, I felt a lot of pressure to produce over the summer. Even though I was exhausted by the end of the semester, I just knew I had to hit the ground running to write as much as possible. That, in fact, was exactly my plan – to write as much as possible. Naturally, this led to disappointment. I had no idea how much was possible, nor did I have a strategy for breaking down that ambitious, unrealistic goal into something doable that I could work on every day. So I’d sit down at my desk, not really sure about what I needed to do. I had a vague idea, but I didn’t have a plan.
During my four years as a writing coach and developmental editor, I’ve worked with clients who face the same pressures. They feel as if summer is their best shot to get a lot of writing done. As a result, they set impossible goals for themselves that are based on fear rather than a realistic assessment of what they’re capable of doing. The truth is that you won’t write an entire book in a summer, and trying to force yourself to do so is a recipe for failure. What summer does offer is the opportunity for you to complete the deep work needed to write a good book. In order for you to do that, you need a solid plan and a way to stay accountable.
Plan your work, then work your plan.
The program starts with a one-hour, one-on-one coaching session with me. We’ll discuss your summer writing goals and the content of your book. Then, I’ll create a personalized writing plan and schedule for you. This plan won’t be a mere overview of your summer writing. Instead, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of your daily writing tasks. The program then includes:
30-minute 1:1 calls to discuss writing and productivity
5 Hours of Developmental Editing
structured editorial feedback on your writing throughout the stages of writing and revision
worksheets, tutorials, and tips for crafting a book while staying on track
track your writing goals and measure your progress
Virtual Writing Sessions
sit down and write with a coach cheering you on
A Community of Writers
receive support from other scholars in a private group
Jane taught me how to implement some self-discipline and prioritization: taking a long, hard look at which projects were most important for my success, and working to keep those at the top of my priority list. Once I had a priority list, I felt significantly less stressed about my work on a day to day basis: we had established a set of priorities for that week and my goal was to tackle those specific things—not EVERYTHING on my plate at once.
Professor, R1 University
Jane’s incomparable editing skills helped turn an overly academic technical book into a much more reader-friendly one. Her insights and suggestions were invaluable at every step, and she was a pleasure to work with.
Professor, R1 University
I decided to work with Jane because I had different types of writing projects that I was trying to manage simultaneously. I knew I needed some help to develop strategies so that I made progress on my projects. Over the 6 months I worked with Jane I made steady progress on my projects and accomplished my stated goals without feeling overwhelmed. One of the most effective strategies for me has been to break up big projects into small weekly goals. Jane worked with me to identify realistic goals and was a source of support as I struggled with developing healthy writing habits. I looked forward to our bi-weekly meetings as I always felt less stressed after chatting with her!
The Summer Book Coaching Program lasts 12 weeks, starting May 21st and ending August 10th. Here are the benefits:
A detailed writing plan that includes daily tasks along with weekly and monthly goals.
Consistent, structured editorial feedback: You’ll have a sounding board for your ideas, so you know you’re on the right track.
Daily accountability: Every day, you’ll have a reason to write. You’ll be part of a community of fellow book writers for check-ins and encouragement.
Personalized coaching: I get to know you, your project, and your habits. From there, I build a system that works for you. I also work with you to identify any obstacles so we can eliminate them before they derail your work.
Instructional materials that include lessons on writing and productivity.
Investment: $2400, or 3 payments of $800
Looking for more flexibility?
If you’d like to participate but are unable to make the financial or time commitment, join the group coaching program. You’ll receive:
A kickoff 1:1 coaching session to plan your summer writing
Access to the coaching platform
Support from a community of writers
Virtual writing sessions
Will this program work for me?
The summer coaching program is designed for scholarly authors who are working on their first or second book. I find that this group of writers faces unique challenges in embarking on their first major project away from the support of a dissertation committee. Some of the support they are looking for includes turning big ideas into concrete, discrete tasks; having a sounding board for their ideas, and accountability structures that keep them on track. If this sounds like you, then schedule a free consultation to learn more about the program.
Meet your coach:
I have a PhD in sociology, and for three years worked as a tenure-track professor at a small liberal arts college. I know what it’s like to work to meet ever more demanding publication expectations while also juggling teaching, service, and a life. This experience, combined with my experience as an editor and writing coach, has led me to work with junior scholars in the social sciences and humanities who are working on multiple writing projects.
I have worked as an editor and writing coach for four years. During that time, my clients have had their books published at presses including Bloomsbury Press, Cambridge Press, New York University Press, Oxford University Press, Princeton University Press, University of California Press, and University of Chicago Press.