– Chris Labonte
I want to thank you from the warm centre of my heart for the writing courses and coaching that you’ve given to me over the years. Working with you has been such a gift, and it continues to impact my life both on and off the page. As you know, I took my first writing class as a sort of dare to myself. As someone who has had a lifelong fear of the blank page, I knew that a writing class would push all of my buttons, and it did. But what I did not expect was to come out the other end with a true understanding and appreciation for the writing process and tools to get me through the tough times, literally.
Your writing class helped me to write through my fear, grief and insecurity to create a eulogy for my Grandfather which was both honouring and true. Your coaching allowed me to take a time in my life that was downright crappy and transform it through the page into a thing of beauty. Too say that our work together changed my life would not be an overstatement, because it has. It’s not that I don’t get stuck now, because I do, but your boundless giving, caring, excitement and curiosity continues to help me write through the sticky patches and back to something real, myself. You are a gift.
Working with you has given me a sense of commitment to my writing. I have used this phrase many times: “If writing was my lover, what kind of relationship would I be having?” You have an ability to breathe life into ‘the writing’, infuse and ignite its life force. Sometimes this life-force flickers and becomes an ember, but there is this core spark that remains. Studying with you gave me a sense that my writing mattered, that it has a worth that deserves energy, time and dedication. Also, there is a deep sense of credibility when you offer commentary. It comes from a place of truth and thus resonates and embeds itself into my writing ‘house’. My writing ‘house’ believes what you say. There is resonance in your truthful yet wise commentary.
A wonderfully insightful and warmhearted mentor, Sarah has coached me towards a healthy, loving relationship with my writing. She’s offered invaluable advice on any imaginable writing topic: how to access my creative reservoir, questions on technique, style and aesthetics, how to work around writer’s block. She’s a revision wizard who provides gentle, yet highly potent editorial feedback.
During the time we’ve worked together, Sarah has always honored her motto: she’s constantly nudged me towards a state of mind in which I’ve actually managed to “write what I want to read!”
Sarah, you rock!
Sarah’s writing classes helped make writing one of my closest friends. Her expansive spirit leaves room for all styles and personalities. She’s a truly talented teacher, helping guide even the most timid. Sign up now!
Thank you for running such a valuable workshop. After your course, I realized that a lot of writers I’ve approached aren’t able to communicate the nuances of the process. I was told the same things over and over (show, don’t tell; eliminate clichés; know your characters, etc). But all of the “tools” felt lifeless to me, in my hands — depressing! This shifted in your workshop. It’s like you’re able to take us to the trap door at the back of the stage and lead us to the mechanics of writing.
When I confront the blank page, several things happen. Most of them feelings: doubt, anticipation, excitement, fear, desperation and desire. Matched with shallow breathing, heart palpitations, window gazing, temple rubbing and brow crunching. Sarah’s workshops – whether an all-day write-fest, or a weekend-long retreat – acknowledge these feelings, but more importantly, she whimsically, yet artfully creates a safe and soulful place for the playful mind and serious pen. A resolution of opposites unite, and you find yourself trusting, having fun, and doing what you showed up to do. Write.
Thank you. I don’t know how you did what you did…
I get it. If I can write what I really feel, deep at the bottom of my ocean – then it’s possible to be free. And the freedom will have it’s own personality.
This course totally opened my eyes. So many of the exercises served as amazing triggers for ideas. The development of the course worked well for me too. They were all such different approaches for me and totally inspired me. I already have recommended it to friends!
Sarah teaches us how to explore. Like cavers new to the sport, she equips us with headlamps, helmets and snacks. If it weren’t for her instruction I’d still be in the dark calling out “hello” and hearing it being repeated back to me.
Sarah’s writing workshops are the anchor that ensures writing practice in my week. Her classes and exercises provide a rich soil from which to generate material and keep going beyond the first draft. The classes are consistently supportive and the people I have met through Sarah’s workshops have created a supportive writing community.
Mary B. Valencia
For caring so deeply about writing and about your students. Your energy, your insights, and your generous spirit were gifts every day last week.For challenging me to rethink my relationship with writing; I was close to breaking up with writing, until you reminded me that the creative process can be pleasurable.For encouraging me to allow the novel to “compost” into something new and move on to other writing.For showing me how freeing handwriting can be.
For the notebook now full of writing ideas, inspired with your innovative exercises, both solo and group.
For the fledgling story that was born because you believed in it and taught me to.
For your patience – it took us a while to jump into the delta of possibilities you offered!
For inviting us all to continue to study with you – I hope to do that soon.
Quote RotatorLoading Quotes...
Pay attention to your writing.Show up. Write more often. Make it good.
Learn how to feel connected, brave, and eloquent. Subscribe. Letters come twice a month.