deep PERSONAL support for FICTION Writers & content Creators
Find your bearings,
navigate with confidence,
and Thrive in your unique creative wilderness.
start your journey to a writing process that actually works for -you-
Working with Brenda has been an incredible gift.
I've been a writer my whole life, and even been to grad school for it, but the craft and artistry of being a writer, for me, has little to do with what in sports I guess would be called the "mental game." When I finished my MFA and returned to full-time work, I felt stuck in a loop of frustration and overwhelm. I came to Brenda hoping she could help me organize myself and stop spinning my wheels.
I felt like I showed up laden with overstuffed bags. Brenda helped me pour everything out and make sense of it all. I felt lighter from day one.
I felt so seen (like almost scary seen) and supported—she’s a super solid editor/reader, but she has a special gift for the coaching side of this work. She knew ME and what my writing practice quirks were—where in a project I lose steam and why, for example.
We've just finished our stretch of time together and I'm feeling so ready to go with my "training wheels" off—much more grounded in my goals and priorities as a writer, and in what processes and structure work best for me.
I thought I would end up writing my novel faster and sending out more submissions, and not only have I made progress there, but new creative tendrils have unfurled too. I'm deeply grateful for the work we did together.
If your creative process feels like an uphill slog, you’re not alone
—and you’re not doomed either.
In fact, I’d boldly wager that every writer you’ve ever cherished has felt the way you feel right now.
I know for a fact that every writer I’ve ever worked with (and by my accounting, it’s nearly two hundred) has days (or months or years) where their project or their creative process in general feels like an interminable grind.
You’re not alone. Writing is hard.
Writing consistently is hard. Writing something you care about a lot is hard.
Did you know that it’s not uncommon for first-time published fiction authors to spend five years writing their first book? Five years. It took J.K. Rowling five years to write the first Harry Potter, and she’s just the low-hanging fruit on this particular example.
It doesn’t take most people five years to complete any other meaningful recreational or creative task. How many people do you know who took five years to train for their first marathon? Yeah, none.
But based on the way we engage with writing and running, culturally, which task would you think is harder?
When you run 26.2 miles, you get a MEDAL. When you finish writing a book, you get jack shit.
So. To recap:
Writing something you’re invested in is a huge, magical, important task.
If it feels hard sometimes, you’re not alone.
It feels harder than it even is because we don’t reflect the truth of our experience in an honest way in our society.
If you’re struggling with balancing a desire to write and execution of that desire, this should be good news. There’s an actual way to feel better about your creative work and get more done.
It’s not as easy as waving a magic wand, though.
In almost every case, it starts with walking back what you think you know about “writing.”
The way we talk about writing is broken.
It’s broken because it’s wrong. And it’s especially broken because of the way it makes us think about ourselves.
No matter who is telling you how they write—and boy, we really have an insatiable appetite for the nitty gritty details of other writers’ daily habits—the best way for you to write is your best way.
Not Steven King’s. Not J.K. Rowling’s. Not Anne Lamott’s or Liz Gilbert’s or Neil Gaiman’s. Not your-friend-in-your-writing-group-who-just-got-that-book-deal’s.
Yours. Yours. YOURS.
The problem is, you’ve likely spent your entire creative life being taught—and ultimately believing!—that your natural approach to creative work is itself broken.
It might be that you focus on too many mediums. Or your writing habit isn’t consistent enough. Or you write too much like this person or that person.
Or you “never finish what you’ve started.”
Or you “have too many irons in the fire.”
Or you failed at NaNoWriMo for the twelfth time, and now you’re probably doomed.
It’s all bullshit.
It comes down to a single thing: either you’re producing content and you feel good about it, or you’re not.
If you’re not, it’s not because you don’t have what it takes. It’s definitely not because you’re not working hard enough.
And it’s absolutely not because you haven’t figured out how to execute someone else’s approach well enough.
It’s because you’re not truly embodying your own approach to your meaningful creative work.
(Or because you have too much going on other places in your life to sustain your creative focus. And that’s 100% okay … as long as you see it for what it is.)
So, what IS your approach?
I don’t know. But I can help you figure it out.
Peregrine Pathfinding is a customized, creator-centered approach that illuminates your individual Creative process.
Look. If someone’s canned writing productivity advice was going to work, we’d all be international bestsellers.
It’s not that you haven’t found the advice that is just right for you—I promise. (You can stop searching.)
It’s not that you’re not dedicated enough, or talented enough, or rich enough to afford a ten-week writer’s residency in the Catskills. Although that probably wouldn’t hurt.
If you’re experiencing hardship in your writing process, it generally comes down to just a handful of reasons.
But these reasons aren’t what we think they are (again—it’s not that you’re not working hard enough), and sometimes they’re hard to identify without help.
It’s kind of like when you have broccoli in your teeth, and your friend tells you, and you keep trying to get rid of it, and you eventually have to go to the bathroom and look in the mirror in order to successfully extract it.
You need a clear reflection to see where you’re really getting in your own way.
I’m the mirror.
When I was 11, I was so embarrassed by my fiction writing that I burned it.
And then, I was so embarrassed by the smell of the paper smoke filling my bedroom that I put it out. I then sprayed a bunch of Bath and Body Works cucumber melon body spray to cover it all up.
Not the most scent-subtle approach to trying to hide, I’ll tell you that much. The smell of my creative shame is literally cucumber melon paper smoke to this day.
And the worst part is that after that, I didn’t write fiction again for literally two decades. I had been editing for the better part of five years before I dared write a story again, and I bled for every blog post and every last word on my website in the meantime.
I know what it’s like to be creatively blocked. I know what it’s like when the over-cultural messages get in our heads, and I know what it’s like to live under self-imposed silence. I’ve lived creative frustration. I have been mud-pit wrestling with my own writing for the better part of two decades.
But. In the struggle, I’ve also mapped every inch of my creative terrain.
And from my privileged perspective in the writing industry—working with everyone from brand-new writers to bestselling authors—I’ve gained insight and solace that I didn’t know I needed.
I want to share what I’ve learned with you. I know it works. I’ve seen it.
If you learned how to write without learning how -you- write, it’s hard to write.
How many thousands of words of online content are dedicated to “finding your voice as a writer”? (So many.)
How many hundreds of articles deconstruct the “ten daily habits of the most prolific writers”? (They all start with “get up early,” ugh.)
On the other hand… How many articles have you seen exploring what it feels like for a person to be inside their own creative process?
Or the different legitimate ways people approach large writing projects?
Or how to center our own creative knowing in the barrage of “best practices” and “writing advice”?
Or what percentage of writing is really getting clarity on what you want to say in the first place? (Like, 80%. Easily.)
Or the somatic differences between when you’re writing something really good, and when you’re squeezing the life out of your content to meet a deadline?
We totally ignore the ways we engage with our creative process because we’re not explicitly exploring them.
It’s natural that you’d struggle if you never paid attention to or prioritized the way you do something. Just like we struggle when we haven’t learned to take care of ourselves, or nourish our bodies, or heed our own intuition.
It’s hard to do important, deep work when you’re not paying attention to the creative vessel: YOU.
And the good news is that once you start paying attention, you learn your own patterns. You learn how long things take for you. You learn how it feels when you have clarity on something and when you don’t, and you learn what you can do for yourself to get exactly what you need. You learn how much sleep you need to get to achieve good writing.
And you learn how you write.
The way you’ve been writing in the past doesn’t have to be forever.
Writing is never going to be easy. Life isn’t easy.
Anyone who is approaching their creative process from a place of sincere expressive desire is going to be doing some soul searching in the process. And that kind of growth and development is challenging, for sure.
But it doesn’t also have to be so dang hard. We don’t actually have to suffer for our art.
If you are ready to:
actually flipping move forward in your creative process
write the book or other content you’ve been dreaming about
feel like you’ve got a handle on your entire creative tableau
lay down the burden of your expectations about what writing or creative work “should” be
center your creative wisdom, your writing approach, and yourself in your work, and
feel good when you write,
My signature pathfinding process might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
“Brenda is a gentle and supportive—yet effective—writing coach.”
While I have always loved to write, I find it harder to write “on demand,” following a schedule, structure, and business strategy. In our time working together, Brenda was instrumental in making that process easier, more enjoyable, and more aligned for me, and in improving the writing I produced as a result.
I worked with Brenda for a couple of years on a variety of projects, including an e-book, content for an eight-week course, website copy, and sales pages for products and services, as well as regular content for my blog and guest content for other blogs.
Brainstorming, processing, and getting feedback from Brenda during our video sessions became an invaluable catalyst to my writing process as well as the overall strategic development of my business, which went through some changes in focus and direction during the course of the time that we worked together.
Brenda came to know me and my business well, and it was helpful to have her voice, outside of my own head, reflecting back to me common threads, themes, and the evolution of ideas across a variety of different topics.
I recommend Brenda to any writer that finds themselves getting too much into their head if left to their own devices for too long and is looking for an editor or writing coach who will take the time to get to know you before working with you to strengthen your writing process and voice. Her discerning feedback will help you to articulate the best version of your ideas and message.