Do these scenarios sound familiar?
- You want your nonfiction writing to read like a novel
- You’re an expert in a complex subject that is difficult to explain
- You need help figuring out what your manuscript wants to say
- You seek deeper-than-usual substantive editing
- You’re looking for a collaborator whose writing is at the same level as your expertise
- You’re an established writer with more writing commitments than you have time
- You’ve been told your writing is too dense, corporate, academic or woo-woo
- You lack confidence in your writing
I can help.
Hi, I’m Sarah.
I want to contribute to a world that works for all beings. I believe that lasting social change can only happen once we see ourselves as part of a living system. That’s why I work with people who are exchanging the status quo (busyness, singleminded profit, domination) for healthier ways of living, working and being—like mindfulness, compassion and sustainability. I believe in the power of storytelling to facilitate business, cultural and spiritual transformation. And I’m here to show you how—or to do it for you, if that’s your preference.
Over the past 25 years, I’ve built a storytelling toolkit that includes techniques from literary nonfiction, journalism, theatre, long and short fiction, screenwriting for television and film, and digital media. I’ve written for organizations from MTV Networks to NASA, and I’ve worked with manuscripts on topics from Buddhist psychiatry to the role of human networks in enterprise agility. I can help you shape your story in a way that engages your readers’ hearts and minds and inspires them to action (or non-action, if that’s the vision). My approach is equal parts story and strategy, magic and logic. My specialty is translating complex information (like research data) into clear, compelling narrative, though I’m also passionate about the simple power of mindfulness and meditation.
I can’t guarantee you a bestseller. Or an appearance on Oprah. Nobody can (except maybe Oprah). But I can help you communicate in a way that will resonate in ripples around the globe.
Read on to discover how I can help you, and thanks for visiting!
- Narrative (longform) writing
- One-on-one nonfiction coaching
- Manuscript evaluation
- Developmental editing
- Substantive editing
- Book doctoring
- Full-length manuscripts
- Stand-alone chapters
- Book proposals
- Course materials
- Other longform material
How can I help you?
When you choose a collaborator, you’re entering into a relatively long-term commitment (usually at least six months). It’s important to find someone who has not only exceptional writing and editing skills, but also whose style meshes with yours. If you’re looking for a fast-paced multitasker, and I need stillness and focus to bring forth my best work, that’s not going to be a productive match.
Creativity is not an intellectual process. I use the mind to analyze and synthesize information—and then I put it aside, in order to access deeper creativity. That flexibility, in turn, requires a dedicated presence practice.
Words are symbols that can be misinterpreted. I speak directly, and I’m a bit obsessive about how structure, syntax and language impact the reader’s experience.
By working with one client at a time, I’m able to focus deeply and offer maximum creativity. I treat each project with the complete dedication I give my own writing.
I have a deep personal commitment to transformation, and that includes both rigorous honesty and alignment of my words and actions. I value projects that inspire organic, authentic change.
"Sarah is truly a gifted writer. She paints a picture with words that can literally transport readers to a place and time that is different from the one in which they find themselves, compelling them to feel what she wants them to feel, hear what she wants them to hear, see, smell, taste, etc. In our business in particular, Sarah was always adept at capturing the magical and logical side of a client’s story, bringing it to life in ways that not only delight and inspire, but also guide and direct. She balances between these two worlds—the creative and the strategic—extraordinarily well, and her work was all the better for it...as were her clients."Bill Baker
What I Bring to Each Project
I dig deep and learn everything I can about your work, to ensure your insights are presented in their full context.
Resonant writing etches itself on readers’ hearts and nestles itself in their minds using a mixture of magic and logic.
I listen to what a project wants to be saying, then I find the structure, words, syntax and pacing that capture its essence.
I have a personal interest in seeing your work succeed. My service is equally to you, your project and your readers.
The Walking Writer
Walking and spending time in nature are the key ingredients of my creativity. Although today there’s ample evidence that these practices enhance creativity, I began incorporating both into my process several years ago. I noticed that, whenever I was struggling to find the right words, they’d only offer themselves up once I began walking—not during hours of staring at my computer screen.
Maybe it’s because my mother was an editor, and precision in language was highly valued in our family. Or maybe it’s because I have a keen ability to read and interpret verbal microexpressions. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this for so long, I’ve developed an intuitive process. Or maybe there really is something multidimensional about my ability. I don’t know. What I do know is that the text tells me everything I need to know about what it wants to be, and what it needs in order to fulfill that. My editing goes beyond the rules of structure and story into how the text lives and functions as its own entity.
Recent Blog Posts
How do we find compassion for people who cause harm? It’s a trick question. We can have compassion without agreeing with them or liking them. We can have compassion for them and dislike their actions. And most importantly, we can have compassion for people whose perspectives are directly opposed (from ours and from each others).
Woo comes from a desire to paint the vision of the world as entirely peace, love and unicorns, with nary a dark thought or fart in sight. But that’s not the world we live in, and—more importantly—that’s not the world your readers live in.
Here’s one of the paradoxes of writing: The more specific you are, the more universally your writing resonates. The same goes for desired readers.