Coach Marla Beck

brilliant writing career

May I be candid? One of my favorite parts of the coaching process is helping a client turnaround a recent mistake. Perhaps he took a risk.  And failed. Perhaps she waited too damn long to respond to an opportunity, and her fear or indecisiveness pushed that great new chance right out the window. Perhaps he […]

Ready to begin your next writing project? Congratulations!  Let’s make sure you’re pursuing the best writing project for you, so you can avoid the malaise and burnout that can happen when you forget to honor all of who you are. Watch below to learn a new kind of decision-making for your writing career: Remember:  when […]

Small tendrill in garden

You know this already: that well-crafted and thoroughly researched pitch, lovely seedling that it is, may not land you the first “bigger, better” writing assignment you’re going for. But even if your pitch is rejected, keep watchful for the many healthy offshoots that often spring up as a result of you taking decisive action and […]

We writers are lucky folk. Isn’t it cool that people are willing to pay us to: research and report news stories, market goods or services, explain or share technical knowledge or other kinds of know-how? I’ll bet you’ve also noticed how handy your writing talents are your civic and personal life, as you use your […]


More than once this week, I’ve stood on a metaphorical pathway much like this: Marla Beck c. 2014 Each time I knew I wanted to cross a wide, wide meadow. Beyond the shelter of the oak, beyond the clear bright light, the trail would turn and snake beyond sight. I couldn’t see how to get […]

ignite your writing-flame

It’s been a very exciting few weeks here.  In the past three weeks, writers from across the U.S. have been telling me how coaching is helping them move their writing projects forward.  I’m so excited for them! – One writer drafted her most recent book in record time. – Another writer is this close to […]

A writer asks: “Hi Marla, “I’m going to start writing again, and I want to work on something I’m really fired up about!  I’ve got two personal essays I’m dying to write.  There’s a book-length memoir project noodling around, too… “I’ve got a novel drafted, too. It’s 7/8th done (no joke), but I started it […]

In recent posts I gave you a few tips to help you put your writing in perspective and stay motivated for the long haul. In today’s post (the third and final of my “Writing Lessons from Photographers” series), I’ll show you a fun strategy you can use to improve your writing and editing chops.  Let’s play a little […]

MBeck - MX Portrait

Now that you’ve mastered the “3% Rule,” let’s move on to the second of three posts in my “Writing Lessons from Photographers” blog series. Today’s lesson is a powerful antidote for anyone who struggles with an overactive inner critic.  Enjoy! — Last week a writer I know excised herself from cozy home and family to […]

Welcome to my new blog series, “Writing Lessons from Photographers.”  Today’s lesson is part one of a three-part series. * * * Introducing the 3% Rule It wasn’t until my senior year in college that I discovered the photo department.  What joy! My first photo professor, Steve Zapton, was known for his direct feedback during […]

  It was a cold D.C. morning, March 1993. “Look a’ her!  “Takin’ a pitcher o’ that ol’ broom…” I’d framed the shot carefully, and as I clicked the shutter, two street guys slowly trudged by. “Uhn-huh,” said his friend, shaking his head. I looked up. Although I’d been delighted by the moment, happily documenting […]

Given your writing abilities and potential, how can you enjoy your writing more today? My suggestions are simple. Find silence. Use your words for good. Find Silence “Go to where the silence is and say something.”  – Amy Goodman, journalist I love the sense of the sacred invoked by this quote. I also love its […]

As any writer who’s coached with me can tell you, setting crystal clear intentions for your writing is a critical step to creating a satisfying writing life. Let’s get you more clear about your true writing priorities.  Read below for a simple exercise. But First, a Story… The most glamorous job I could think of […]

  Meet my client, Janie. Janie wrote well, and had the writing confidence and the bylines to prove it. But despite a successful writing career, Janie didn’t love her work when we first started working together.  Janie couldn’t seem to make progress with her own writing projects.   She started wasting work time and losing her […]


Don’t let it fool you, dear writer. That unfinished novel may look like an innocent,  overstuffed file in your desk drawer, but you and I know better:  the manuscript you’ve been avoiding or putting off for months (or years) can be downright dangerous. Why? Unfinished novels sap your creative energy. Everything unfinished in a writer’s […]

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