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Manta Ray


Initiating a contract for a writing coach was a new experience for me, and I hesitated wondering if my writing was worth it. I went ahead knowing that without some structure with deadlines, I would not maintain the momentum I had gained by being part of a local writing group. And the anxious feeling returned before each of my four sessions with Ruth.  And each time it was quickly dispelled by her genuine interest in what I had submitted, by the thoughtful questions she asked, and the guidance I received in the form of questions and detailed responses. Ruth’s questions didn’t undermine my courage, but rather guided me to a better understanding of what I wanted to explore and express in my essays.


While my sessions are completed until the next time, I take away a stronger sense of what I want my readers to feel and more clarity from imagining their responses. That is an important lesson for me, but the best part of my experience was the encouragement I received from Ruth’s curiosity about my topics, my life they are drawn from and the encouragement I received from her. -- Jill V., essayist

I liked the supportive, detailed phone conversations. The feeling of support is important! This experience is different from following a good book, or meeting with a group of writer friends. Also, you know and like, the genre I’m writing in, which was a big plus. I especially liked the suggestions for regular writing practice: I enjoyed all your tips, but 500 words or an hour, first thing [but after coffee!] and then done for the day was a game changer. I frequently did more, but that practice removed the feeling of obligation, which has hampered me. That was the biggest change in my writing/ writing practice. The other change was coming to closure with a novel draft; thinking complete first draft, subject to change after a break from writing -- S.H., novelist

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