I have coached hundreds of writers in my online writing classes. There are countless success stories about how writer’s block was finally flung to the curb; here are a few of our recent favorites that students have shared.
Finally Developed a Daily Writing Practice
“I signed up for Cynthia’s writing class hoping that it would reconnect me to my writing projects and help build a sustainable practice that fit into my busy life of travel. I needed a practice I could bring with me anywhere. Having participated in many other writing workshops, with other writing coaches and formats, I was nervous that I might repeat my pattern of not always following through.
But in fact, I found the level of structure to be just right to help me build a long-term writing practice – there was just enough guidance and support with Cynthia’s prompts and the group discussion. This built a sense of accountability when I needed it, but never a feeling of pressure. That was really important to me.
Cynthia is truly a wonderful, judgement-free, guide in this process. As a practicing writer and artist, she truly talks the talk and walks the walk right along with you. She helped us uncover ideas and material we hadn’t been able to uncover on our own. The strategies Cynthia introduced me to have not only helped organize my writing, but also work through stuck points and move forward with new ideas and larger projects.
Cynthia helped me to develop the larger, daily writing practice I was looking for, after years of trying. Since taking this course I’ve found a new enthusiasm for writing as a whole and a much stronger interest and connection to the creative side of it. It just works!”
Molly Nunnelly, Travel Consultant, San Antonio, Texas
Got to the Heart of What She Wanted to Express
“I had just become a coaching client of Cynthia’s and signed up for her writing class as an addition to the work I was beginning with her. As it turned out, it was a perfect way to begin the work I would further with Cynthia one on one.
For me, Cynthia’s writing class really worked as a clearing space to figure out what it was I wanted to be working on. It was a way to meet myself every day and just let things bubble up. On many occasions I would start my writing session with a specific topic in mind, but then through the writing process I would be led to something quite different – often something significant to my work or important to my creative process. It was always revealing.
The community aspect of the class was tremendously eye-opening. To see so many like-minded people in one space – to recognize a community of people who think like me; I looked forward to going to that virtual classroom every day. And I could hardly believe how thorough Cynthia was with her feedback; whether working through something with someone who was struggling, or just providing some encouragement, she was always there with focussed support and an experienced perspective.
The technique of free-writing was new to me and has continued to be a valuable tool. I find myself using it constantly now, for all kinds of reasons – if I’m feeling blocked writing an important email, for example, or when I need to clarify my ideas around a project. It’s remarkable how easily and effectively my thoughts coalesce when I use free-writing; it bypasses overthinking and quickly gets to the heart of what I wish to express.
I truly feel everyone should have a chance to work with Cynthia. She helps you dig deep in such a gentle way. As a highly developed creative with an equally strong practical side, Cynthia is able to provide the full gamut of what artists really need to be successful.”
Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Musician & Actor, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Professional Writer Prioritizes Passion Projects
“I have been writing professionally for more than 33 years, first as a university English professor and now as a freelance writer and editor. I write in my journal every morning, I have two personal writing projects (a book and a weekly blog and podcast), and I write for my freelance clients during the day. I work for myself and from home, so I have to create my own structure and process for writing. I wear a lot of different hats as a writer and Cynthia’s writing class plays a crucial role for me.
Before Cynthia’s writing class, I was having a hard time prioritizing my newest book. Even though it was a project I really wanted to be doing, I just wasn’t making time for it. I was floundering; I was working on it but only half-heartedly. Now, using the free-write technique, I have worked on my book consistently for at least 90% of my mornings this year—that’s incredible! I’m nearing the halfway point in my manuscript. The word “floundering” no longer applies to my creative projects. Instead, they’re on track, they’re where I want them to be.
Using Cynthia’s class to write my book and to build my blog and podcast has given me a lot of confidence. Now I know that I don’t have to flounder around on a project: I can set my sights on something, and I can actually achieve it. I can, despite my busy life, make time to do these things that matter to me.
I am devoted to Cynthia’s writing class. I participate in it twice a year. I use the 30-day structure to generate fresh content for my blog and podcast. Using Cynthia’s technique for organizing my writing, I choose a prompt each day, related to my blog, and I write on that for 15 minutes. This practice, twice a year, gives me enough momentum and enough raw material to consistently publish my blog and podcast for the entire year! It isn’t a struggle—it feels like play.
Throughout the year, I go back into one of the drafts I wrote during the class and shape it into my post for the week. If I had to sit and face the question “What am I going to write about next week?”, I don’t think I could do it. I couldn’t face starting from a blank page every week. With this process, and with Cynthia’s support, I am currently celebrating 2 years of publishing a blog post and podcast episode every single week! If I hadn’t found this way of doing it, I don’t think I would have stuck with it. If it were more than 30 days or more than 15 minutes, I’m not sure I could commit to it. But that in combination with the laid-back, free-write approach makes it joyful. It feels feasible. It is absolutely doable.
I could try doing all of this by myself—I could create my own prompts and try to write for 30 days. But the accountability is important to me. It’s important that someone else knows I’m doing this and is invested in it with me. I wake up in the morning and can’t wait to see if Cynthia has made a comment on my previous day’s post. Her comments are like little shots of adrenaline. This makes me show up every day, for myself and for Cynthia.
Cynthia is the greatest cheerleader and coach. When I get stuck, Cynthia asks great questions. She’s sympathetic and encouraging, but she’s also challenging in the best sense of that word. Without judgment or criticism, she asks you to look more carefully at what’s really getting in your way. This year, when I was lagging near the end of the 30 days, she was right there to help me pick myself back up. I got my second wind and sprinted joyously to the finish line!”
Linda Tate, Writer, blogger, podcaster, Boulder, Colorado
Accessed Her True Writing Voice
“I’ve been a part of Cynthia’s writing class a few times over the years; she creates a very special process. This time around I wanted to get back into my daily writing flow and I came with an outcome I wanted, a character I was creating. At the end of the month I had a wonderful character and more! Thanks to the variety of Cynthia’s prompts, I had multiple short stories that I could go back to and build on.
The daily prompt bounces in and you never quite know what you’re going to get. There’s this element of surprise – sometimes you read it and feel slightly dazed – but then you end up in this weird and wonderful place! They add a bit of thrill and excitement each day and set you off on a stream of writing and ideas.
People don’t always get quite how powerful experiences like this can be; and Cynthia’s writing class is just that – powerful. It attracts the most vibrant community of writers and artists. Cynthia sets a tone such that the space that is built is safe and honest for everyone – whether things are going well for you that day or poorly. Cynthia has a great spark of life about her that just shines out. She engages in a way that encourages you to challenge yourself as a writer but then is there to throw you a rope or a torch – whatever you might need – to help pull you out if you get stuck or lost.
Looking back over the years, Cynthia has given me my writing voice. I write a monthly newsletter and my readers say to me how much they love receiving mine! I am a writer, I can say that now.”
Ruth Dent, Artist, England
The Key to Unlocking Her Creative Work
“I came into Cynthia’s writing class with a project that had been back burnered by the many demands of life. I knew I needed structure, but I didn’t expect how very liberating the format and structure of this specific experience would be.
The combination of consistency and freedom helped me realize both my ability to commit to a daily practice and my natural inclination toward different types of writing throughout the day. I do my 15 minute free writes for creative or fiction writing in the morning, and more practical, nuts-and-bolts writing (like email and website details) in the afternoon.
Had it not been for Cynthia’s support, I wouldn’t have recognized how powerful this insight was. Now, having realized the importance of scheduling on the clock, my productivity has just blossomed!
The genuine space of safety and non-judgement cultivated by Cynthia is truly unique. So many of us have been shut down, sharing our writing in places where judgement and criticism were rampant. What I’ve come to find is that permission is the key. Cynthia gave me the permission I, for whatever reason, wasn’t giving myself.
I’m amazed to find the story I began decades ago has actually been developing deep inside of me. Cynthia has helped me bring it into the light! Just a few short weeks later, my free-writes have doubled because I use my 15 minute timer more than once a day.
The combination of the short time period, the space of non-judgement, and the no-pressure approach of free-writing is so completely liberating. It’s the key to unlocking your creative work.”
Barbara Ferrier, Painter & Writer, Washington state
Worth Far More Than the Price
“I was hoping this time would help me unlock a joyful habit of writing that had gotten bogged down. My writing had been feeling unsatisfying; too much like work. I wanted to get to a place where I felt like writing mattered again and to tap back into creativity that had felt lost for some time.
Having enjoyed my first class with Cynthia years ago, I was truly delighted to see how she has continued to evolve and deepen the experience for her participants. As a writer and coach, Cynthia truly shows up; she is so present throughout the course but interacts in a way so as not to be overwhelming or stifling. She’s created a safe place where you feel bubble wrapped with love, attention and support. You can have a completely personal experience, with an unspoken bond in the group that you’re all in this for your own reasons. And, community is formed at the same time.
This time around, Cynthia really inspired me daily. It helped me to discover a part of myself I had been wanting to get to know better; pushing me to a new place of accountability within myself. I’ve been able to say “I can do this” and not only that I can do it, but that I actually LIKE doing it again and that I’m pretty good! There is nothing to lose with this class. The content shared and the experience itself are worth far more than the attached price tag, no matter who you are or what kind of writing you’re doing.”
Linda Buchner, Fundraising Consultant
Focus, momentum and determination
“I came to Cynthia’s writing class looking for new input to inspire thoughts that hadn’t arisen for me yet. I was initially hesitant, unsure about how much I really wanted to share in this setting, but surprisingly found myself much more motivated to engage with the community than I had expected. I think that had a lot to do with what a professional and energetic teacher Cynthia is, and how perceptive she is to each person’s differing needs within the group. She’s so present throughout the course and is able to keep the focus on the importance of the writing process. We don’t share our work in the virtual classroom; we only share about our writing process and how we’re feeling about our work.
Cynthia’s responses motivated deeper participation while, at the same time, completely avoiding any sense of overwhelm or pressure. Cynthia is a wonderful role model of creativity, continued learning, and expansion into the world of writing. What was equally important, was Cynthia’s obvious sensitivity to the business of life. The format of the Fling felt achievable, not requiring too much from people in regard to time. Throughout the experience, Cynthia shared nice little bonuses and extra content that added vitality and surprise to the experience.
Since Cynthia’s writing class, I find more focus and determination in my writing and art. I’m moving forward with more gusto. It was the nudge I needed to start producing “for good” in the world, in the way I’ve been wanting to.”
Lynn Archer, Artist & Writer, California
More ease and fun with writing again
“In 2014 I made strides on a writing project, proving to myself I could be disciplined and produce regularly. When I allowed life circumstances to derail me for more than a year, I stopped writing almost completely and lost confidence. I was stuck and miserable when Cynthia gently advised me to just focus on bringing ease and fun back to writing.
Cynthia’s writing class helped me do just that and get writing again. The 15-minute writing blocks, daily prompts with an element of surprise, and Q&A conferences in community with Cynthia helped me bring greater ease to writing again.
I’m back on a mostly regular writing practice. I forgive myself days I miss and intend to complete a few pieces and get them out in the world this Spring. I highly recommend Cynthia to anyone who is feeling stuck or isolated and wants to resume a regular writing practice.”
Willow Baum, Writer, Connecticut
“For years, I had struggled with this belief that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t a real writer, that I wouldn’t be able to follow through. I had become my own self-fulfilling prophecy. Until you. Your coaching, your support, and your gosh-darned realizations opened a door that I had thought gone long dormant.
With your words in my ears and my heart finding newfound excitement (actually, it fell in love and lust with writing again), I pushed and prodded the words across the page for almost an entire year, finishing one of the stories I had started long ago. In two weeks, my first novel goes into a professional editor’s hands. And you, dear Cynthia, are the one who helped me lay the dominoes. I just don’t think I can thank you enough for the motivation, the inspiration, and the reminder that I was meant to write.” Tabetha Hedrick