Writing Coach and Editor

Struggling with your book, article, dissertation or thesis?
Email for a free first consultation to start making progress again

Clarify your goals.

Feeling lost? The desire to finish a writing project often competes with other goals–health, wealth, family, friends–which can lead to writing problems. Working with a writing coach can help identify and clarify the many goals in your life. By recognizing where these goals compete or cooperate, you can start taking practical steps to achieve them.

Clarify your ideas.

Feeling confused? Many writers and researchers struggle because they have too many ideas–the ideas compete for attention and prevent focus. By clarifying and separating out your many ideas, you can choose which to examine, focusing your efforts as researcher and writer.

Clarify your writing.

Feeling frustrated? Writing is difficult, and expressing ideas is difficult (even when those ideas are pretty clear). With good editorial feedback, you can refine your writing to successfully reach your audience.

Get your project finished!

With Thought Clearing coaching and editing , you can work more effectively, finish your project, and move on to new goals.

Dave Harris is a superb editor! A sensitive reader of early drafts and a careful editor of more developed work, Dave Harris cares about the author as well as improving any piece of writing. He was a tremendous help for a number of my books including most recently the two-volume Hapa Japan (Kaya Press, 2017) and American Sutra: Buddhism and the Japanese American Fight for Religious Freedom in World War II (Harvard University Press, 2019). I can highly recommend Dave Harris to anyone seeking to improve their articles, dissertations, or manuscript-length books at any stage of the writing.

— Duncan Williams, Associate Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Southern California

That I have finally finished my PhD is in no small part thanks to Dave. I came to him at a point when I was stuck and not sure which direction to take my dissertation. It was immediately clear from the first draft he returned to me that Dave is much more than the average editor. His edits improved the clarity and quality of my writing and his lengthy comments helped me find the way to a successful dissertation. Dave’s insights provided a useful balance to those of my dissertation committee and the process of discussing my goals and ideas with him helped free me immensely. In the course of five months of working with Dave, I am proud to say that I went from wondering if would ever complete my degree to receiving my PhD with distinction.

— Ph.D., Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

graduation photo of successful client

Writing Coaching

As a writing coach, I work with authors to find effective ways to approach their project and their work process. You can improve your relationship with your work and work process; you can rediscover the enthusiasm and interest with which you started the project. Writing is always going to be challenging; it doesn’t have to be painful. If you’re feeling lost and abandoned in the midst of your project, I can provide feedback and help with planning. More about coaching services. I can help if you’re: struggling with writer’s block; working on a doctoral dissertation; working towards publication.

After four years of wrestling with my dissertation, I sought some guidance and found Dave Harris. One year after working with Dave, I finished my PhD….I have worked with many great coaches in my life (in other arenas), and Dave would surely be a member of that group.

                     — Ph.D., Romance Languages, University of Michigan


As an editor, I help authors express their ideas effectively and efficiently. From working on structure and argument to cleaning up punctuation and spelling, there are many ways to aid the author in expressing him or herself. My primary goal in working with writers is to help them complete and submit work that will be well-received. More on editing services.

I was feeling stuck and hopeless with the editing of my dissertation. Dave took a big document and worked on it quickly and efficiently. He made suggestions and cleaned up my writing quite a bit. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again if I needed this kind of assistance.

                    — Ph.D., Education, University of Pennsylvania

Dave Harris, Ph.D.

Dave Harris, Ph.D., writing coach and editor

As an editor, I excel in helping writers identify their best ideas and express them clearly. I read with attention to the underlying ideas first and foremost and provide extensive feedback detailing strengths and weaknesses, asking questions about unresolved issues,  and making suggestions for how to proceed.

As a writing coach, I help people develop successful writing practices. Through weekly meetings, I help writers reshape the way they think about writing. Moving from severe writer’s block to productive writing can be difficult, but it can be done. I help writers think through problems, make plans of action, and, with a little luck, transform their feeling that writing is torture into a sense of confidence that they will be able to write what they need to meet their goals.

Thanks, Dave! You rock!

                    — Ph.D., Anthropology, American University