Steve Adams

Writing Coach and Writer

My name is Steve Adams. I’m a writing coach and a writer.

As a writing coach I’ve worked with published, award-winning novelists, short-fiction writers, and nonfiction writers; unpublished but dedicated and experienced writers; and those new to the game who have always believed they had something to say, but didn’t know quite how or where to begin.

My many years of writing and analyzing a broad range of forms (fiction, essay, playwriting, screenwriting, poetry) give me structural insight into manuscript evaluation, and my study of, and in-depth exposure to, music, acting, dance, theater arts, and visual arts affords me a varying set of perspectives from which to approach the process of writing and the disciplines that support art. I find coaching writers a form of work almost as rewarding as writing itself.

Something happened

In the year 2000 when I was getting my MFA in Creative Writing at the New School in New York City, I found myself surrounded by dynamic, bright, and very well-read students. Frankly, they intimidated me, but as the classes continued and I got to know them better, some began to secretly admit, with some shame, how difficult they found the writing process. One very talented woman would wait until the evening before her story was to be publicly workshopped, then spend all night burning through a cocktail of panic, terror, caffeine, and sugar to create what turned out to be a surprisingly strong story that no one suspected was a first draft. However, during class she looked beat up and delirious and could barely take in our comments. Another writer in the program quit her day job with the notion that opening up a sea of unstructured free time would somehow translate into greater writing productivity, only to discover she actually produced less without the steady structure of her job. Another found himself lost inside a tangled maze of his own making—his novel. Trusting inspiration alone, he’d taken off writing with a general idea and the hope that the mass of words he was determined to produce would coalesce into something meaningful, but it didn’t.

These writers had managed to get into a top MFA program on the strength of their academic record, a handful of submitted pages, and their passion. They’d hoped that being in such a program would create the circumstances that would turn them into functioning, productive writers, but it didn’t. And because word went out that I knew how to get words down on paper in a sane and sustainable manner, they would come my way, start a conversation softly in a bar. Did I have any suggestions? And so, this is when I started counseling writers.

Since then I’ve had the privilege to know and work with some extremely talented, dedicated, and successful writers, but I was shocked to find that even some (if not many) of these artists struggle and strain in their daily lives to bring their work to the page. At a point they may develop writer’s block, or burn out, or find their personal lives disrupted in their attempts to serve their most important calling. Or maybe their professional situation is in flux (e.g., they suddenly find themselves in-between agents, editors, or publishers), and they could use some support, some backup. Some grounding.

Others have written seriously for years, but suddenly feel lost or stalled out. Maybe they need a kick-start or some perspective, someone to shake up their writing process or hold them accountable, someone to simply talk to about how wonderful and challenging the writing process can be.

And there are those who’ve always felt they had a story they must tell, but for whatever reason have waited until now to attempt writing it. They’re new to the game and don’t quite know where to begin. They need someone to bring them up to speed and shorten their learning curve, someone to help them find and stay to the path of their story.

This is where I come in.

Writing is natural for me. Which isn’t the same thing as easy. Nevertheless, it is as regular and integrated a part of my day as breathing. I know many ways to get words on the page, and I can help you do the same. I can look at your lifestyle and address areas that are interfering with your creativity as well as disrupting your life. I can guide you toward developing a sustainable approach to your passion. I can help with the basics: narrative structure, characterization, grammar, etc. Writing, like anything worthwhile, is hard. But it doesn’t have to be impossible. And frankly, it’s a discipline that, if functioning properly, will support and enrich your entire life. If it isn’t, please get in touch.