• Amy Cherie Copeland

Are You Ready for the Next Level?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019

I see you. You've been scribbling the Great American Novel in your notebooks for 10 years and you finished it last week. Now you want to share it with the world.  And I see you, too. You were a successful undergraduate, and now you are considering grad school. You wrote a few papers in community college and you passed with As and Bs. You've got this, right? Or do you?

Whether you desire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a doctoral dissertation in forensic psychology, if you don't take a realistic stock of your readiness, you could throw away a lot of money on self-publishing a book most people will find too irritating to read, or paying some poor editor overtime rates to clean up after your incompetence. 

If you want to avoid wasting your money, keep reading to find out the essential writing-craft and technical skills for publishing writers.

Essential Writing Skills

A first draft of a novel is only a starting point. Especially with an inexperienced writer, the editing process could change the story and character development significantly. For example, it's not uncommon for me to cut half of a writer's content due to irrelevant details and repetition. 

Reading and editing a poorly written manuscript is distracting and tedious. Most editors don't have time to work one-on-one with clients who are unfamiliar with the rudiments of standard American punctuation, grammar, structure, and characterization. Consider these the essential skills of writing-craft for publication, no matter what your format or genre, whether it's academic writing, creative writing, or any writing for publication.

Essential Technical Skills

Likewise, although this applies equally to other writers, my experience as a writing tutor in a community college provides excellent examples of how technical skills matter to the student's success. 

In 2019, when students enroll in college, they are expected to possess many skills, like typing, research, PC, and MS Word (the standard software used in most U.S. colleges and universities), and it is not the traditional role of the university to remedy skill deficiencies. I have watched too many otherwise bright students hunt and peck on the keyboard and struggle with understanding the fundamentals of 

  • typing/keyboarding and mousing 

  • PC conventions (apps, drives, file storage, etc.)

  • internet searching

  • email

  • online course-ware

  • MS Office products

  • using MS Word

Students can become so frustrated and distracted by their learning curve on the technology that they cannot focus on learning the content in their courses and expressing their ideas in writing. The same is true for creative writers. If you can't cope with the basic technology, you will spend an inordinate amount of time and money grappling with the details you shouldn't even have to be thinking about.

The Solution

This is an easy and inexpensive problem to fix if you are willing to invest the time and energy. My recommendation is to find out how you stack up and make a plan to build your skills before you enroll in a program or embark on taking your project public. 

I can help with that. I offer a free 30-minute consultation in which I will evaluate your writing and technical skills to give you an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Then I will collaborate with you on your training plan to remedy any areas where you need to acquire new skills. From there, you will have two options to proceed:

  • Independent learner types can choose to build skills on their own by using the free or inexpensive resources I will share. 

  • If you need a little more support and personal interaction, I am available for a limited number of one:one coaching sessions to help you develop the confidence you need to be independent. 

My ultimate goal is for you to obtain the skills and knowledge you need to be an effective writer at the next level. Then, when you are ready, let's work together!

Click to contact me.

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