“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, and numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.” ― Diane Setterfield
Each of these following writing services can be done individually or in groups and are elaborated upon in weekend and weeklong workshops.
Writing your Life: Introduction to Memoir
Ok. You have lots of journals, post-its in piles and a first-draft hidden in your desk drawer. And ever so often you pull them out and are gripped with either crippling fear or indecision and simply put it all away again and walk back into your life. Right? Time to stop. You have a goldmine in that drawer.
Whether you want to publish your memoir for the market, use part of it for a presentation, print it privately as a legacy for your family, or come to grips with a powerful and life-changing experience or relationship, writing memoir is one of the most effective processes you can undertake to lay “ghosts” of the past to rest and to claim your authentic, powerful voice. The process of writing memoir is transformational and can heal your body.
Where to start? This is always the first question people ask when they consider writing or telling their story, and it can be the “storm at the gate” that keeps you from ever entering the illuminating experience of writing memoir. I will show you how to find your entry point, and offer a process for deconstructing the random experiences of your life and reconstructing them as a coherent story.
This process is an ongoing relationship where we create character development, plot, tension and structure together and a form to anchor the writing in your daily life. The process is “therapy” for you and you will encounter where you are stuck in your story in life, encounter your fears, your dreams and then create your own resolutions. I will provide a therapeutic container for that work to be done as we go along to help you process what you encounter in yourself.
Story: As Spiritual Practice.
Writing for your daily life is what this work is about. It is a spiritual practice like no other. And building a daily practice of writing to move your energy onto the page is a powerful tool for balance and unlocking creativity. And the movement of energy changes your body as well.
I will work with you and teach the basics of “life as story”. You will learn the elements and vocabulary of story, how to apply it to your life on a daily basis, and experience the deep connection with your authentic self and with significant others that writing in the moment and sharing it with others can give you. You will have insight into current obstacles, even without directly talking about them, and the confidence to take right action if you need to. This is a very revealing and therapeutic process.
My Life the Movie
As a screenwriter for 20 years, movies have been my storytelling preference and the power of film has captivated all of us, at one time or another. We simply hear theme songs from our favorite movies like “E.T.” or “Gone with the Wind” and we are instantly transported back to those stories in films that we hold dear. Each of us has a movie to make of our own lives. And if you don’t think anyone would want to watch Your Movie, think again. Have you noticed that in the past few years more and more movies say, “based on a true story”?
Many of us are very visual as we see our story unfold. For some, writing a screenplay is the most powerful medicine there is. Seeing all of your life in three acts, writing the tension and the obstacles and allowing your protagonist to overcome them, is magic. This tight form of 120 pages, each page representing a minute of your life, is boot camp for change. You will get to the heart of your life quickly.
I will be teaching you the structure of screenwriting and mentoring you in the process of telling your story for film. Having had the most amazing teachers and mentors through my relationship with Tom Skerritt from Top Gun and Stewart Stern who wrote Rebel Without a Cause and Sybil, my story telling experience at The Film School in Seattle will help you take you story and put it into 120 pages of inspiration.
Consulting and Coaching for Writers
I provide coaching, consulting, ghostwriting and critique for those who are currently writing a book, article, screenplay or proposal. My job is to keep you on track, give creative and structural feedback, and help you get the following done in a timely manner:
- Create Structure and a Timeline
- Develop all your characters
- Identify your three acts
- Determine your tension and obstacles and flow
- Create an outline
- Build a Story Board
- Get your first Draft completed
- Get your query letter and book proposal completed
- Help propel your creativity with exercises in writing and voice.
I meet with you weekly, in person or on Skype to keep you flowing, on track, undaunted by writer’s block and to deal with what inevitably comes up in your writing that you need to process. I team with you to get your project to the finish line.
“Stories are the communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah, in Arabian Nights