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Interview: Writing Coach Michelle Layer Rahal

Writing Coach Michelle Layer Rahal

Michelle Layer Rahal is the author of Straining Forward and her latest release, Are You Listening? She is also a certified writing coach and will be assisting Buffalo Creek clients with coaching in self publishing. She will be helping our clients put their time and money in the necessary steps of self publishing versus being taken by all the marketing that promises alot and produces little. Think of a self publishing coach as a guide on your journey.

I asked Michelle some questions to help you get to know her a little better and to see how one writer turned her love of writing into a full-time career.

When did you start writing?

I started writing short stories in elementary school and songs in middle school. Later in life, I worked as a radio news reporter and wrote educational articles for two national publications. I feel like I've been writing all my life.

What careers and life paths led you to becoming an author and writing coach?

What I've done is not as interesting as the fact that I changed jobs often because new positions were offered to me. After working as a radio news reporter and anchor, I taught elementary school. Then I went to work for one of the first online education companies, which led to a job with an educational consulting firm. This opened the door for me to become the Director of Testing for not one, but two school districts. During this time I wrote numerous articles and reports on testing and outcomes. When I left the public arena, my church offered me the position of Education Director, which opened the door for me to write my first book. Today I am self-employed as a writing coach, speaker, and author who is working on making heaven crowded.

In your experience helping other writers, what are a couple of the pitfalls people make in self publishing?

They overpay for services they do need and buy services they don't need.

Referring to developing strong habits as a writer, do you write everyday?

Practically. Usually it's a blog, a newsletter, a story, or an Instagram reel. But there are days when I just read.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I can write anywhere, as long as it's quiet. I have my own office at home, where everything I need is at my fingertips.

What would coaching someone who is trying to publish their book look like?

The client and I would meet on Zoom to discuss their goals and expectations as well as what is reasonable to expect in the current publishing market. Most first-time authors do not know what they need to know in order to make progress. So, together we explore next steps and devise a plan to get the client on track.

What is one of your favorite things in coaching others in their writing journey?

I love seeing a client's book come to print! But I also love seeing a client make progress. The timeline differs from person to person and project to project. Therefore, it's rewarding anytime learning or growth takes place.

Living in northern Virginia, what is your favorite restaurant in DC?

I don't get into DC often enough to have a favorite restaurant. But outside the city limits, I like 2941 in Falls Church, One Bar and Grill in Fairfax, and Passion Fish in Reston.

Favorite coffee shop?

Peets in Fairfax and Cafe Amouri in Vienna.

Anything you would like to add?

Contrary to popular belief, writing is a team sport. Sure, you can write and publish a book all by yourself. But if you want quality and promotion, you need a team of qualified professionals.

You can learn more about Michelle and contact her directly via her website

For authors who need to develop an online platform such as website, book cover, and coaching, check out our Author Platform Package.


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