Can this writer be saved? Individual writing-coaching

Individual writing-training offers confidentiality. Because it’s custom-tailored to the needs of the student, it’s quick. The student learns what s/he needs, at a comfortable pace, without wasting time on material that’s too basic or too advanced.


Penny R.* manages an internet site. With a background in project management, she’s well organized. But she wants to learn to prune her own wordy copy.

Andrew Y.* is an accountant in charge of 7 other accountants. He can multiply and divide without a calculator, but when he needs to write a memo, he freezes. He’s looking for competence and confidence in business writing.

Two young writers report to Carla S.*, who has a bachelor’s and a master’s in English. She’s been managing other people so long, her writing skills are rusty. She needs to help her staff write breezy, punchy copy.

Penny and Cara contacted me for individual writing-coaching, as did Andrew’s supervisor. Individual coaching is perfect for busy employees, especially people who can’t wait through a college term to learn how to eliminate adverbs. It’s excellent for people who are embarrassed to admit they need help. And it’s marvelous for private “refresher courses” for managers.

Adults have unique ways of learning. The beauty of individual coaching is that I can teach students the way they learn. If they learn best by reading, I give them hand-outs. If they learn by doing, I show them. And if they learn by listening, we talk.

I am a patient instructor, my students say. Benevolent and kind – but also a zealous, detail-oriented critic.

Adult learners appreciate my background in journalism and public relations. “My other writing coach used to teach eleventh-grade English,” says Cara. “First, I felt she talked down to me. Second, she insisted I outline, and I hate outlining. Susan lets me write the way it feels right. She helps me write better.”

* Name has been changed to protect people who dangle modifiers.