The secret to
getting your most vulnerable stories on the page even if you are blocked by fear, self-doubt, or overwhelm.
Nicole, just wanted to let you know that your trauma, grief and loss video is very powerful. Your definitions, frameworks and techniques give me a laminated roadmap on how to write more about my grief. You are offering such invaluable lifelines to so many of us. I can’t thank you enough. ~ Janice
Writing about grief and loss is difficult. But it doesn’t have to be hard.
You have a burning desire to share your stories with the world, but are held back by fear.
⛔ What if writing my story brings up difficult emotions?
⛔ What if I stay stuck and never get through a draft?
⛔ What if somebody is hurt by the truth of my story?
Memory gaps, missing pieces, family secrets.
The anxiety of getting it all wrong.
You wonder…where do I even start?
Don’t let anything hold you back from telling your stories.
You can learn how to:
Sidestep Fear | Organize Your Raw Material | Write Intimately About Your Experiences |
Manage Overwhelming Emotions | And So Much More
That’s where I come in…
Hi, I”m Nicole
and I write about life
Like all of us, I had a Great Big Story to tell;
like many of us, I didn’t know how to write it.
First, I let myself write from that messy, raw place for as long as I needed to. Later, the same material began to take shape as essays and poems.
With support from a mentor and counsellor, I found my way inside a cluster of difficult stories that, taken one by one, added up to my Great Big Story. They came together as a hybrid poetry and CNF chapbook called How to Grieve a Broken Heart.
By finally unlocking the story I was able to learn a lot about myself. I was able to feel compassion for the young girl I was. Until I honoured my story by writing it, I hadn’t realized how unprocessed grief had impacted me and my life in significant ways.
Before I learned a way to approach my difficult material, I drafted “thinky” pieces that distanced the reader. I was struggling to let my guard down, trying to protect myself from feeling all the feelings. And that didn’t help anyone.
Once I realized that the secret to crafting powerful stories from your memories was an approach that allowed me to write past my fear, everything changed.
Now I am a:
- multi-award winning poet and essayist
- contributor of craft articles for Hippocampus magazine
- memoir writing coach whose superpower is helping writers achieve their literary dreams faster than they thought possible.
My award-winning essay about first love and loss, “An Atmospheric Pressure”, was selected as a Notable Essay by Best American Essays 2017.
My work has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies including:
Nicole’s appreciation of experimentation enabled me to approach topics I had avoided or ignored, value my unique perceptions, build confidence as a writer, and to craft the first essays I have published. ~ Heather Diamond, Author of Rabbit in the Moon: A Memoir
Ready To Shape The Unspeakable Into Story And Learn
How To Write About Trauma, Grief + Loss?
Learn how to:
💫 Approach topics you previously avoided and re-cover your difficult stories.
💫 Navigate writing into difficult material with an approach that has helped countless writers turn their memories into memoir.
💫 Move past blocks, like fear and self-doubt, so you can finally get your stories on the page.
In this 60-minute workshop you will get...
- A framework to help you finally get your most difficult stories on the page.
- What you need to know before you start writing so you don’t let fear and self-doubt hold you back.
- 10 creative techniques (with multiple examples) to help you sidestep difficult emotions as you write into your stories of trauma, grief, and loss.
- 5 gentle self-care tips to support you as you draft the hard stories you feel called to tell.
- Inspiration to help you make art out of the experiences that impacted you deeply and made you who you are.
Your investment to write your difficult stories with ease
Did someone say bonuses?
A 4-part heart story workshop that will teach you how to evoke mood and atmosphere as you explore the many facets of love in your writing – including, but not limited to, loss. This exclusive module from my signature program, The Spark Your Story Lab, will also show you how to effectively structure a story in three parts and includes additional self-care tips. (Value: $349 USD)
“As I worked on my heart story I realized I am becoming more confident. Now I can look at what seems like a big mess and can sort through it, knowing it will turn into something – at least a first draft!” ~ Kae
I’ve been stuck and unable to write my story for years. How do I know your approach will work for me?
Although I can’t guarantee what will happen with your writing after you take my workshop (because I can’t control whether or not you put my training into practice), I can promise that if you try these techniques you are going to discover new facets to your story that may surprise you.
I hope you’ll let me know if you experience a breakthrough or finish a difficult story after taking my workshop. ❤️
How do I know if I’m ready to write my hard stories?
The first is feeling a persistent nudge to write about an event or experience. If you have a story you can’t seem to shake, that’s the first clue.
The second sign of readiness is emotional preparation for what may come up in the writing. From experience I know it may not be possible to avoid re-triggering emotions when writing into vulnerable material. That’s why I’m a huge believer in self-care and have included tips for taking care of yourself in my workshop.
Although you can’t always predict the feelings that may surface when you write about difficult experiences or their intensity, ensuring you have emotional support is both within your control and highly recommended.
Are there any subjects that shouldn’t be written about?
Your story, your perspective, and your voice are unique. You’re the only one who can tell the story burning inside you. I believe more than ever the world needs more stories. Collectively we are wiser, more empathetic, and more creative when we do our brave, truth-telling work. Stories also have immense power to pave the way for healing.
There are myriad ways a writer can work with the same material they (and other writers) have written about many times before. I share ten fresh ideas to get your inspiration flowing in my workshop.
Some fear that their experience of trauma, grief, or loss contains elements that may disturb a reader, and for that reason their story is best left untold. The truth is, you can’t predict how your story will land with someone. But if the process of writing is healing for you, there’s a good chance reading your story will be healing for someone else (especially if they may not feel ready to tell their own story). In my experience, I’ve only ever received grateful words for sharing my own hard stories.
If you’re unsure whether you should reveal some of the details of a traumatizing experience, know that what you share is entirely up to you. I like to tell writers: you may not have control over what happens to you, but you have absolute control over how you tell your stories.
Aren’t people tired of reading trauma narratives? Why would anyone care about my story?
I believe readers are drawn to personal storytelling because they want to know how another person survived trauma, grief, or loss – even if the writer’s story is very different from their own.
I’ve heard temporal distance is needed to write about hard experiences. I’m in the middle of a difficult situation right now – should I wait to take this workshop?
Some of the writers I’ve taught have used the techniques I share without the benefit of temporal distance (i.e. one writer wrote about an abusive relationship while she was in the process of leaving her partner).
In some instances, I’ve found it too difficult to write about an experience until time has passed – then, when I was ready, I used the tools I share here. At other emotionally challenging times, writing has been the only thing I wanted to do.
I do find that writing with the intention to process a difficult experience is very different than writing for an audience. In that case, I’ve had more success shaping a story out of my material after I’ve spent some time freewriting into the emotions first. Writing freely, in a journal, is typically the first step in my process.
Do you have a guarantee?
The world needs your story and only you can write it.
Stories of trauma, grief, and loss are a valuable gift for both writer and reader.
Years ago when I lost a pregnancy I wanted to read stories by women who’d survived a similar loss so I could feel less alone. But I struggled to find the book I needed to read. So I decided to write one. I felt the best thing I could do was try to make something beautiful out of the loss that could help other women who were struggling to make sense of a miscarriage.
You can do the same with your stories.
Don’t delay writing your stories because you’re afraid of their impact or what it will bring up for you. Let writing be part of your healing process as it was for me. And if you end up publishing – like many of the writers I’ve worked with – imagine how many people you can help with your story.
Let me help you take this step to tell the stories you long to write. Your investment: $97