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About the Author:

With a tender heart, a drive for learning and a gift for sharing, Margaret brings her years of experience as a licensed professional counselor and a woman of faith to all her writings. Her insights and biblical understanding bring home principles we all can use - no matter the circumstances we are in.


Writing Coach Corner

Spring Training for Writers

By Margaret Cook, M.Ed., Licensed Professional Counselor, Life Coach


Daylight Savings Time, warmer temperatures, first buds of spring and Easter are an invitation to writers to begin anew.

Think spring and find some inspiration in the season of new beginnings for your writing. There is writing in the sunshine and journaling for rainy days combined with more hours of daylight and the greater activity level that spring ushers into our lives.

The baseball teams start spring training in warm places before spring comes to many of the cities that are home turf. In St. Louis, we are anxious for the baseball games to begin again after our long season and World Championship World Series in 2006. The Cardinals have spring training in Florida and started the regular season on April 1. The training time is an important time for getting into shape, practicing skills and enjoying some preliminary competition.

When is your game season as a writer? Are you on a year-long writing schedule, or do you seem to have a seasonal style? How do you stay in shape during your off season and how do you gear up to do your best throughout your writing season?

Use this analogy to create a writing schedule for yourself. Engage in a variety of conditioning exercises and ways to bring new energy to your game. Having a team of other writers can make you more effective in reaching your audience and being published. Coaching makes a difference because a coach is able to offer a more objective investment in your success. Coaching can bring out the best and sustain winning momentum.

Some people play baseball for fun and exercise. Some become professionals and devote themselves to the discipline of being in shape, identifying areas that need work and playing in the game at a level that allows them to stay on the team. Are you writing for the fun of it, or are you preparing to write professionally? There is a difference in how you prepare when you plan to write professionally. Discipline, conditioning and knowing the process that lets you produce the optimal results will set you apart as a professional writer.

Five steps for getting in the game of writing:

  1. Have a regular routine for writing. Know the seasons of your sport.
  2. Make a commitment to revising and continuously improving your writing and learning/practicing writing skills.
  3. Seek feedback. Share your writing with various people to learn more about improving your game.
  4. Keep score. Find ways to evaluate how well you are doing and how much better you are getting.
  5. Love the game so you will play with all of your heart. Look forward to your writing experiences and make them fun.


I trust you will have a great season of writing for God’s glory!

A Few Training Tools


Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

A Writer's Workbook: Daily Exercises for the Writing Life by Caroline Sharp and Elizabeth Gilbert

Copyright © April 3, 2007 – Margaret Cook. All rights reserved.
Permission to use or duplicate this article is available by contacting the author at


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