WRITE ALIGN COACHING
Aligning Life with Language
I help my clients reclaim their truest selves & tell their truest stories. From the amorphous seas of brainstorming, to the precise cobble-work of revision, I believe the writing process (in all genres) has a lot to teach us about ourselves and how we articulate ourselves into the world. When a client and I sit down to work, my mind is alert to not only the words they commit to paper, but to the stories they are telling themselves about success v. failure, beauty v. ugliness, right v. wrong, self v. other, important v. trivial. Writing can be a great place to create consciousness around and practice releasing those beliefs that keep us from telling our deepest, most alive, human truths. Pulling from my formal experience as a classroom teacher, Body Positive Coach, yoga instructor, & student of meditation, I love helping clients loosen fear and perfectionism's grip and let curiosity, self-trust & love guide the way.
I challenge the binary between creative & analytical writing structures. In my personal life, I am a master combiner and connection-maker. I mix unlikely ingredients into cookies & stir fries, I write similes that collapse distant worlds into single phrases, and I love bringing play into my work, work into my play. As a writing teacher, this connection-maker in me has a lot to say. Most importantly, I want my clients to experience the connectedness between academic & creative writing. Analytical writing is creative, and creative writing is analytical. Both genres require alertness to detail, commitment to truth, an embrace of multiple perspectives, thoughtful organization, and a continuous juggle between the specific and the collective (the micro and the macro). Connection-making ripples outward; when we begin to blur the boundaries between academic and creative writing, who knows what other binaries in our lives might blast apart for a more connected vision?
I'm an advocate of diverse learning and coaching styles. While I’m not an educational therapist, I personalize my teaching approach to each of my clients, and have experience supporting readers & writers with executive skill differences. I want my students to succeed in singular writing assignments, yes; more importantly, I offer my students the thinking, writing and reading tools that will support their long-term growth as attentive, truthful connection-makers.
I help clients clarify the "so what" of their writing lives. Cheryl Strayed says of all stories, "The forward arrow of plot–what happens in a story–is not the only thing that matters. Plot is important. But it is not what sustains a story. What sustains a story is its depth. The downward arrows . . . ." Strayed’s statement resonates beyond fiction, into the realm of personal and academic essay writing, and even our own lives. The horizontal line of progress–the things we do and write with great effort in order to reach a goal–are only as meaningful as the moments when we pause our forward-momentum and reflect, "Ah, this is why this matters. This is who I am; this is why I'm writing/doing this." These moments of depth are the downward arrows of which Strayed speaks. These moments are where the value of our writing, reading, and of our lives, is most felt. If I've done my job well, I've balanced a client’s urge to progress in single writing projects with a desire to express these deeper so whats that occasion their entire writing lives.
Contact me to see how I can be of service to you.
Pointed Writing Strategies and Support for Personal Success
Writing is all about making meaningful connections--in the semantic sense (between words, sentences & paragraphs); but also in the social sense: between people, points-of-view, and between the parts of ourselves that show up when it's time to write. I embody this value of connection-making in my individual lessons, in-person and on Zoom. Writing is also about truth telling. In order to guide my students towards their truth in writing, we must both establish a trusting relationship wherein that truth can be discussed, held, and known between us.
The benefits from these private virtual and in-person sessions are twofold: they cultivate a trusting, honest teacher-student partnership so we can problem-solve as a team They also invite solitary self-reflection and metacognition on the client’s behalf. In addition to instruction and discussion, I aim to create the space and silence wherein students can connect with themselves.
Contact me today to schedule a free, over-the-phone evaluation and schedule your first private session!
CRAFTING YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT
Find the language today to launch your future
On the one hand, writing college essays when the future of education is unmapped, might feel futile and intimidating. On the other, it is during these narrative-unwinding times when I believe the personal essay has more power and purpose than ever.
Writing a personal statement is about asking oneself: "What do I care about? Which life experiences showcase these values? How do I want to tell these stories? What does my voice sound like? How might I move forward, with these answers as my compass?" When the scaffolding of pre-pandemic structures and roadmaps fall away, reconnecting with this core of "self" is perhaps the most orienting thing we can do for ourselves, and for our students.
From prompting students to define their core values, brainstorming stories that manifest these parts of them in-action, to fastening the bow of personal style, I've designed lessons that I hope will serve not only the college applicant, but any person seeking self-knowledge, expression, connection.
I feel crazy lucky to be a part of this wild journey of self discovery and self-saying.
Yet, writing your personal statement can be a complex ask. It demands that we are introspective and aware of our audience; authentic and somewhat performative. In my one-on-one sessions, I help students find and defend their authentic voice, and give form to their most resonant, powerful stories. But I also illuminate the blindspots natural to a high school perspective, and try to replicate the presence of an admissions committee so that the final draft both reverberates deep within the author, as well as projects confidently and appropriately to the intended audience.
Words work together, so must their welders.
“A Room of One’s Own” is not always what we need to navigate and succeed in our writing. While solitary, undistracted, work is an essential element in our writing routines, a reverence for reading and writing is a communal value meant to connect humans, not isolate them. It is in concert with our communities when we often encounter that great idea, renew writerly inspiration, and remember our reasons for pursuing the writing life.
In these 2-4 client group workshops, we work together to air, affirm, challenge, and clarify our stories.
Importantly, these workshops are a practice in the art of giving and receiving feedback—an art that is, itself, an off-the-page form of writing.
These classes help remind us that when we write, even if we do it alone, we contribute to the collective memory and imagination of our generation. Writers are engaged members of an academic, creative community.