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image: plumeDonald Coggan, English Writing Coach

Donald Coggan was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the time he could read, he loved to write. This included a fascination with the structure of sentences in which he excelled.

Understanding of language along with a strong analytical bent got him selected to serve on the high school constitutional committee and the award for highest combined standing in English and mathematics in the province of Manitoba.

Overall high grades then led to a J.W. McConnell Scholarship in Science and Engineering and Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from McGill University.

Once in Quebec, there was no returning to The Prairies. Next came landing a great job, getting married and starting a family. Writing complemented his work and his employers encouraged and even paid a bonus for magazine articles.

Becoming recognized internationally for his expertise in the field of process automation, he collaborated with academic colleagues on peer-reviewed conference papers and presentations.

A strong entrepreneurial and independent spirit resulted in him founding his consulting engineering business in 1981. He left the engineering consulting business cold turkey in 1996 to become an Internet Business Consultant, an activity that has continued uninterrupted to this day.

Both businesses have involved a considerable amount of writing: specifications, calls for bids, proposals, technical papers, training manuals, direct mail pieces, newsletters, web page content, white papers, sales pages, and whatever technology and creativity brought and will bring.

His author page on Amazon.com is https://www.amazon.com/author/coggan.

Here is how Donald describes his work as a writing coach:

Communicate!

[photo: Donald Coggan]Although I'm happy to have written all the works featured on my Amazon page, what pleases me most is helping people tell their stories. This includes over 2,000 people with disabilities who needed to get their their stories in writing in a way that helps them get all the benefits they're entitled to.

This all happens on my private charitable site at Ability-Mission.org.

I have personally edited all the stories. In some cases, I've coached individuals on writing letters to their government representatives, sending letters to the president, applying for grants and more.

The common thread in all this writing is to comunicate effectively. When we speak and the other person cannot understand, we might as well just be making noise. And so with writing, if we don't make our message clear, we might just as well be scribbling nonsense.

Throughout my career, and especially since 1996 when I jumped on the Internet bandwagon, one thing has become crystal clear. A good part of successful writing means catering to the wants and needs of readers.

There are excellent keyword research tools to find out what readers are looking for. Matching our passions to that is where much of the magic in writing lies.