Trusting Coaches Ideally, coaches are supposed to help you grow as a writer. And they do for the most part, especially if your coach is positive and offers constructive criticism at all times. However, despite our best attempts, that doesn’t always happen. Many times, sadly, the coach is less than positive, and the relationship between the coach and the writer becomes very negative and possibly toxic. Here are some signs of negativity and toxicity between your coach and yourself: 1. All of the feedback that comes of your coach, or most of it, is negative in nature. 2. Her tone is negatively aggressive at all times. The coach may raise her voice or even shudder as she gives you her feedback on your manuscript. 3. Any feedback that makes you feel bad all the time, and paralyzes you for days or even weeks. After all, you need to be encouraged but not discouraged. 4. Any kind of bullying remarks, such as: You just don’t get this, do you? You keep doing the same thing over and over. You are not improving here; You must proofread your work very caaaaaaaaaaaarefuuuuuuuuly! and so on. 5. There is never a time when your coach finds the manuscript acceptable. For instance, even after three or four revisions to a manuscript, she keeps finding more and more wrong with it. In conclusion, if you constantly feel beat down and hurt by your coach, you don’t have to put up with it. You are paying a lot of money for a service that is NOT working for you. God knows there are a lot of coaches around. Just make sure you find someone who is positive and who can help you to grow as a writer. ~ Irene