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 personal, spiritual and cultural 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.
Getting your message across isn’t just about what you say; it’s about what your audience hears. We all have blind spots. We think we’re saying one thing, but the message that comes across may be entirely different. That’s why it’s essential to have an honest, compassionate collaborator—someone who can help you evoke an experience in readers, in a way that inspires them to adopt your insights as their own.
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 (for multi-author books)
- 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 took a lot of discombobulated material I had written and teased out the threads, so that I can now take it and install a more coherent structure into my writing. On other projects, she has seen intuitively into what the reader would care about in the midst of what is quite complex material. I have had her review at least four of my writing projects and in every case, she has brought high value to the task. She is my go-to person for honest, insightful feedback and coaching.”Dawna Jones
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
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.
First-person POV has considerable limitations. However, there are ways to work around it, to create a richer, more engaging reading experience.