If you want me to write:

An article, profile, Q & A, blog or bio

A book manuscript, travelogue or manifesto

A podcast or video script

Or if you would like me to conduct a podcast or on-camera interview…

Then excellent! Please head over to the Connectpage and tell me about your project and deadline. I’ll get back to you promptly. 

If you’d like more information on Ghostwriting, or my signature offerings Find Your Voice, a process for writers and creatives to uncover their unmistakeable voice, and Find your Story, where I help you find and craft your most powerful life narrative for talks, bios and more – then please follow the links. I look forward to connecting with you.

 

 

Graffiti on defunct bobsled track built for ’84 winter Olympics, Sarajevo, Bosnia. Photo: Blair Lyonev, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Ghostwriting 

 

“Finding one’s voice is a process of finding one’s passion.”

                                                             – Terry Tempest Williams

I’ve ghosted for people of all stripes and stories: photographers, artists, travel writers, entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, a dance company, a children’s book author, a psychic medium, novelists, Yoga, voice, and dance teachers, CEOs, singers and refugees. 

These collaborations are one of the most energizing and rewarding things I do because for me, ghostwriting is more than a craft of mimicry; It’s an opportunity for revelation.

I ask key questions and listen deeply, and through this process uncover the unique quality of your voice and get to the heart of what you want to express.

I believe the ghostwriter’s job is to help a voice become more of what it already is and then find the tone that best suits the intent of the work.

I also do the required research, hatch ideas, and create a compelling delivery.

Your experience of the final piece should feel a bit like singing in the shower; It’s your voice, only more singular, clear and magnetic.

Along with long-form articles, profiles, autobiographies and website content, the process can be applied to: Online bios, manifestos, presentations, newsletters, artist statements, speeches and talks.

Ghost or Copywriter…What’s the difference?

Not much; in both cases I’m writing content that has your name on it. As a ‘ghost’ I’m contractually unable to reference my participation in the work to other clients. As a copywriter I can.

Ghosting makes it rough to cull testimonials, but it’s a very pure exercise in voice, which is why I like it.

This process is collaborative and requires a degree of resonance; Absent of a little chemistry it’s an uphill grind. So, before signing on I ask for a brief discussion about the proposed project, and will give you an honest assessment of whether or not I’m the right fit. When I say ‘yes’ it’s because I believe I’m the best person for the job.

Whenever possible, I like to work over the phone or on Skype. In person is excellent if you’re local.

My personal obsessions include: travel, psychology, holistic health, the body, spirituality, yoga, movement, art, photography, literature, sex and intimacy, perfume/scent, entrepreneurship, women’s narratives, migration and refugees…so I really hum when I work with people in those subject areas.

And by the by: I’m not afraid of more ‘difficult’ or harrowing narratives, nor do I shy away from strong, distinctive voices. I have a background in interviewing and crafting stories for survivors. So bring it on.

I charge on a per-project or an ongoing/retainer basis. Want to hear more about the process and get a quote? I’d love to hear from you. Go to the Connect page and send me an email. Tell me about what you want to co-create. I’m happy to have a quick discovery call with you as well. 

 

 


Find Your Voice

A process to uncover your unmistakable voice.

  • Best for established or aspiring writers, bloggers, creatives, entrepreneurs, speakers, educators, and those looking to build a distinctive platform through writing and speaking.

The Power of Voice

“The voice is what’s there when you take everything else away.”

   – Chase Twichell

We’re irresistibly drawn to certain writers and speakers because of the innate power of their voice.

We may not even like them. We may loathe their politics and point of view, but still gobble up everything they write or say.

Their voice might be shamelessly confessional – a hot mess we like to lap up at a safe distance – or they have a gift for icy satire that lets us release a little of our own venom. Or they tough love us, take us rough and tender by the necks like lion mamas and carry us clear of our neurotic desires.

We take in these voices like medicine. Try them on like clothes. We go to some voices to be soothed, or get clear, or for a shot in the arm. We might need a dose of their world-steadying wisdom, or a hit of moral outrage.

We trust their well-vetted news, their biz smarts, or their sexual know how. 

To these voices we will surrender our attention and precious time; We will even surrender our wallets. 

But first we need to get hooked. We need to believe.

And that hook – and the way we go with it – is a felt thing.

It might appeal to our minds, but ultimately, a voice is something you need to feel.

Because deep down we know that our voices reflect our very essence. And we know when someone has done the work to find, trust and relentlessly give their own voice.

I’m not just referring to voices in creative long-form content, like articles and books.

Voice is everywhere.

Voice is your bio, your about page, your blog, your resume, your podcast intro, your pitch, your twitter profile, your talk.

Our voice is now woven in to all the places we’re asked to translate some of who we are into words.

And consequently we have as a culture become more adept at sensing the credibility and passion of a voice; We can root out the contenders who believe in their own hustle; We know when someone is a knock-off or the real deal.

Unfortunately, many would-be writers, pundits, educators, bloggers, coaches and speakers find it incredibly hard to uncover their own voice and sustain it through the breadth of their work.

They default into imitation, borrowing authority from more established voices.

Or they find that they can access their voice some of the time and really flow…but at other times the source dries up. The writing feels laborious and contrived, and so they post, speak or publish less and have no consistency with the work.

Which is a shame, because a distinctive voice has the power to create resonance and genuine connection with its target audience.

Your voice is your energetic signature, as distinct as the whorls and ridges of your fingerprint.

When it’s alive and streaming your voice can communicate across all boundaries, zing straight into the hearts and guts of a reader, and form an immediate bond.

In essence, your voice is the truth that wants to come through you.

By ‘you’ I mean your style, personality and unique imprint. And by ‘truth’ I mean the thing that only you can provide.

Finding Your Wild

“Your voice is the wildest thing you own.”

                              – Terry Tempest Williams

Being in your full voice requires a state of deep internal coherence, a focused state in which your truth can align with your singular way of expressing it.

Most of the time we experience a state of coherence and alignment by accident; things just seem to come together – or they don’t.

Anger, for instance, can be a very coherent state. Perhaps you’ve had the experience of having your boundaries crossed for the umpteenth time and suddenly you’re a column of clear, hot eloquent rage…and boy do you have some words.

That’s coherence.

Or maybe you’ve written a blog post in ten minutes that says everything you want to say. It has a quality of urgency, comes effortlessly and leaves you feeling a little exposed. But you post it, figuring no one’s gonna read it anyway…and wake the next day to discover it’s gone viral.

That’s coherence.

Or maybe you were struggling with a piece of writing, hit a wall and took refuge in a few glasses of merlot. Finally all the channels opened and your genius was set free; You were deep in your voice and riding the flow.

That too, is coherence.

Unfortunately these are all unconscious moments of alignment, and hard to reproduce. (Unless you can manage to be drunk, enraged or effortlessly inspired every time you sit down to write.)

So the question is:

How do you create the optimal state so you can consistently create internal coherence and tap in to your voice?

Find Your Voice

Developed and honed through an in-depth study of Yoga and a decade of teaching writing, Find Your Voice uses guided inquiry, mindfulness techniques and you body’s intelligence to uncover your voice and get to your truth.

It will also support you in creating a more sustainable, pleasurable, and transformative writing practice.

Through the process you will learn:

The Yoga of Creating Coherence

Somatic and breathing techniques that enable you to create a focused, creative mind. Mindfulness techniques to enhance your ability to discern your true voice. Prompts and guided inquiry that help you distill your truth.

The Yoga of Generating 

How to locate your connection or ‘passion point’ in a variety of assignments and genres. A technique that uses the felt sense of the body to generate ideas. How to get vulnerable in ways that reveal your core values and keep your audience engaged. 

The Yoga of Craft

Techniques to stay true to your own style and voice. How to discern productive creative tension from anxiety – and how to manage both. How to get past beginnings and the need for a perfect first draft. How to maintain the passion and urgency of an ‘inspired’ piece of writing, while still applying some editorial savvy for a clean final draft. 

You will also receive worksheets and prompts that guide you through parts of the process for your future writing projects.

Most importantly – you will have a direct and immediate experience of your own voice when it’s in full swing.

You will feel what it’s like to have someone really listen to your voice in the most generous and discerning way with the sole aim of finding it’s unique brilliance.

You can access the Find Your Voice process through:

A private 3-hour one-to-one session  (Discovery and follow-up calls included)

Ongoing Coaching

A group workshop in a corporate, academic or studio setting (10 person limit)*

*I also pair this service with a deeper embodiment piece that combines writing exercises with an extended sequence of Yoga postures, and breath and relaxation techniques. Suitable for Yoga studios, private homes with adequate space, or corporate retreat settings. 

Want to uncover your unmistakable voice, ask a question, or learn about pricing for private or group coaching? Then go here. I look forward to connecting with you. 

 


Find Your Story

Discover your most powerful and transformative life narrative.

Your Personal Brand Narrative

  • Best for creatives, entrepreneurs and anyone looking to communicate the organic links between their biography and their business.

Your Liberated Story

  • For those who wish to create a transformative narrative of their journey and discover their core message. Suitable for speeches and talks, memoirs, bios, personal essays, podcast or video scripts, group teaching and more. 

Your Personal Brand Narrative

“We think in story. Story is what makes us human. Story is what allows us to envision a future.”  

                                                                                                                               – Lisa Cron   

What’s your story?

Why are you selling what you’re selling?

Authenticity has become a much-used (and abused) buzzword in online marketing. Entrepreneurs and creative types sometimes use the idea of ‘authenticity’ as a strategy, a scrubbed-up persona they have to manufacture.

But consumers sense this. We know when you live, eat, breathe and love what you do.

We sense when you’re driven by more than the bottom line.

We know when someone has real authority or if they’re all bluster.

Authenticity is simply the natural by-product of the connections between who you are, the life you’ve lived, and what you’re offering in your business or creative endeavor.

It’s not a commodity, but a phenomenon – something we feel, a vibe we catch, a moment of trust.

Your Personal Brand Narrative is a means to communicate these connections, accentuate your differences, and stand out in a crowded market.

More than a history of your company or project, your Personal Brand Narrative is about how its birth and development is intimately linked to you.

It demonstrates how your business is the organic and inevitable expression of your character and history.

Your Personal Brand Narrative is a story that demonstrates that you belong in this space – even if it’s your first launch. And when someone asks why you do what you do, or how you got there, you’ll be able to respond with clarity and confidence.

Versions of your PNB can be used for your ‘Bio’ or ‘About’ pages, in newsletters, ads, live interviews, networking events, press kits, media packages, or pitches.

In my experience most entrepreneurs have a sharply honed awareness of why they’re in a particular business, but they have trouble expressing it in a concise and compelling story.

Or, they’ve had a zigzag path and struggle with identifying the thru-line, the continuities and progressions that add up to a sense of authority in their current enterprise.

That’s why the Personal Brand Narrative process is often revelatory; You will be able to recognize how your life and business experiences – no matter how wildly varied – have been in service to this moment and your chosen endeavor.    

The Process

“Listening is a creative force. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

                                                                                                                       – Karl Menninger

Through guided inquiry we discover the ‘themes’ in your life: the skills you always return to, the questions you’ve always asked, the activities you’ve always enjoyed, the talents that you barely acknowledge because they seem so ‘second nature’ to you, the reasons why you took one path and not another, and what belief systems have guided you.

We will also talk about your professional, entrepreneurial, or creative journey: The ‘aha’ moment when you knew what you wanted to do, watershed moments on the path, your successes and failures. You tell me all about your services or products.

I then use this raw material to articulate the connective tissue between who you are and what you do in the form of:

A 1,000-word Personal Brand Narrative

A two-paragraph version of your PNB

An elevator/cocktail or party/networking event pitch.

Want to get started on your Personal Brand Narrative or receive a quote?  Please go here. Tell me a little about yourself, and include a link to your website. I look forward to connecting with your soon. 


 

Your Liberated Story

“A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves.

Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart larger.”  

                                                                                                                         – Ben Okri                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

We tell ourselves stories about our past and who we are all day long.

Most of the time these stories slip below our conscious awareness. They come as a thought, an impulse, or a reaction to a challenging event.

They’re not always the stories that embolden us to take on new experiences, or arouse our compassion, or prompt us to share our voice.

Often, these stories diminish our true power and keep us safe within a set of habituated responses.

In many ways your self-concept arises from your core life story.

Bringing a generous, loving lens to that narrative, and reframing some of your experiences and choices – even the traumas, misfortunes and mistakes – can inspire the emergence of your true gifts and allow you to make new choices.

Putting your life story in an empowered context will also help you uncover your deepest truth – the one only you can provide and are meant to share.

The Power of Story

“Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives,

the power to retell it, rethink it, joke about it, and change it,

truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.”

                                                                   – Salman Rushdie

I discovered the transformative power of a reframed life story through facilitating writing workshops for teenagers in juvenile prison, young homeless women with substance abuse issues, and through collecting arrival narratives for refugees with the IRC.

These were human beings who had experienced a great deal of trauma and whose inner lives were permeated with feelings of pain, displacement, and shame.

Pounding crystal meth and jacking eleven cars kind of shame; Going from middle-class comfort in Damascus to being a graveyard shift fry cook at a fast food chain in the suburbs of America kind of displacement; Crawling through a latrine ditch to escape a slave labor camp in Myanmar kind of pain.

These big, agonizing events had over time become threaded into the very identity of the teller, and shaped how they carried themselves in the world…which in turn informed how the world perceived them. 

Crafting a life story that highlighted the moments where they had in fact made dignified, powerful choices allowed them to liberate and expand their self-concept, make new choices and take positive risks.

Most of us won’t experience these extremes of circumstance – but all of us have been shaped by our past and the stories we tell about it.

Sometimes the challenge is not about the pain of your past, but about making sense of it.

If you’ve had a lot of hairpin pivots in your life experience, for example, and want to examine how each move has given you some wisdom and a rich set of resources to draw upon.

Or perhaps you’re starting a new venture or a radically new chapter in your life that, on the surface, has little continuity with your past; You need to find the details and the story that support you in feeling strong and credible as you move forward. 

Few of us have consciously created a life narrative that makes us feel more confident, accomplished, resourceful and free.

But we all have to power to become the genuinely loving witness of our our lives and craft an authentic narrative that serves our present and future unfolding.

Liberate Your Life Story

“Asking the proper question is the central action of transformation.

Questions are the keys that cause the secret doors of the psyche to swing open.” 

                                                                                     – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Your Liberated Story is a revelatory process of guided inquiry and focused conversation. The result is a document that delivers an expansive understanding of your life narrative that supports your empowered unfolding and brings you back to your core message.  

We can work on transforming the full arc of your life narrative, or focus on a specific event or aspect of your experience, such as ‘Relationships’ or ‘Body.’

Through active, compassionate listening I create a narrative in the format of your choosing that feels true to your voice.

This narrative can serve as the foundation of a personal speech or talk, a memoir, a letter, a new way of communicating your story in social or networking contexts, or as a stand-alone personal empowerment exercise.

I offer a basic service that consists of a 3-hour one-to-one conversation. (Discovery and follow-up calls included.) 

You will receive:

A 1,000 word Liberated Life Story

A short-form, two-paragraph Liberated Life Story

A statement of your core message

However, if you require something in a different format, such as a transformational speech or a long-form memoir, I can do that as well.

To Liberate Your Story, ask a question, or get info on pricing, please go here. I look forward to connecting with you.