A Year to Liberate Your Voice and Write Your Book
The heavy thunk of the large box starts your heart racing with excitement. You thank the delivery person and take a deep, slow breath to soak up the moment, then cut through the packing tape to reveal the treasure inside: a full case of published books. Your published book. You’ve really done it. You pick up a copy and feel the weight and substance of it in your hands knowing that, in this moment, your life is about to change forever.
Imagine you are on a stage, reading from your book to an audience full of people who are inspired by your story and activated by your deep, soulful message.
Imagine knowing how it feels in your nervous system to have accomplished not just your creative or artistic goal, but, as poet laureate Joy Harjo so powerfully describes it, one of your major lifetime tasks: sharing your story as an offering to those who need it most.
Imagine aligning effortlessly with ideal students, clients, and opportunities—without having to spend all your energy on marketing—because your book represents you and your work in the world.
Imagine your book as a magical calling card, granting you access into circles with other writers, creators, and global visionaries.
Imagine just how right it will feel to stand in the center of your story, as Brené Brown says, no longer hustling for your worth around the edges.
Imagine not needing to imagine anymore, because you committed to yourself and to your story. You trusted that if you found the right container and showed up to do the work, your book would come to life. And it did.
You can absolutely get there…but it all begins with a first draft.
We can get you from that vision to actually writing your memoir or personal story-based non-fiction book. And if you complete that first draft in a year, we will support you in finding your path to publishing.
What’s Really at Stake
Are you haunted by a deep knowing that something is missing in your life—something central not only to the world, but to your own well being?
Have you always hidden your brilliance? Spent years tamping yourself down, allowing your genius to be relegated to the background? Been afraid to stand boldly in the center of your story and your value as a person?
Do you wake up on birthdays or New Years to a little voice whispering that another year has gone by and you still haven’t written your book?
Can you feel like the spirit of your book speaking to you, nudging or maybe even nagging that this story needs to be told? That you’re playing smaller than you really are? Is it frustrating? Do you understand that the stakes are high for it, too?
Do you feel trapped in a job that you don’t love? Or, are you struggling in your business as a therapist, healer, or coach without enough ideal students or clients?
And do you know in your bones that a book would radically alter all of this for the better by aligning your public perception with your soul’s purpose and opening the door for you to step into your bigger life?
I Totally Get It
I am a story worker, heart and soul…but I didn’t always dream of becoming an author. My dream (the one that drove me crazy and woke me up, nagging, every morning) was to do a one-person show.
I learned to write so that I could share my story on stage. Which I did! I even received accolades, amazing reviews, and standing ovations. But it wasn’t until I published a book, almost by accident, that my life’s work revealed itself and I was truly seen in the world.
That was twenty years ago, but I would absolutely not be where I am today, offering the work that I do and having supported thousands of people in telling their own stories, without that book having seen the light of day.
Once The Cancer Monologue Project found its readers, I learned just how powerful a personal calling card a book actually is. Although I had written and shared my story onstage in three different original shows, nothing made the kind of impact—on my readers or in my own life—that publishing did.
That’s because it not only showcased my clients, students, and their stories, it also centered my process and revealed something about who I am as a story worker and the work that I do in the world.
I knew the work itself was powerful, but I was shocked by the opportunities that this book opened for me.
First there was the PR.
Yes, I got into Oprah magazine and, yes, I got into NPR and Rosie O'Donnell's magazine, and all the things, but it wasn’t until the publicity hit that I really understood the power that a book was going to give me.
For the first time I was getting offers from organizations all over the country to lead workshops, some of them with six-figure advances. Storytelling organizations, hospitals, wellness centers, visionary conferences like The Bioneers. The reach for my work was suddenly exponentially wider.
And all of this made it possible for me to fully, officially launch my business as a story coach and truly begin the work that I’m still doing to this day.
A Cauldron of Transformation and Creative Completion
The Somatic Writing™ methodology is very unique in its approach. I created it—along with my students and the editors and story coaches on my team, who have vast experience in writing, performance, publishing, editing, and storytelling—as a way to access not only your richest stories, but the deepest aspects of your soul.
In the Story Archeology part of our work together, you’ll use your senses to drop into live, shimmering images, the stories that live in the fire and bones of your body. Archetypal stories, turning-point stories that carry the code of meaning and truth that will make your readers catch their breath and see their own lives in a new way.
In the Story Architecture aspects of the program, you’ll work through a step-by-step program designed specifically to support artists, actors, psychotherapists, coaches, facilitators, teachers, and the many depth-based creative people who are drawn to our community in setting and achieving clear, tangible goals.
You’ll be guided and held in a principled container that makes intentional space for the linear and the nonlinear, the concrete and the liminal, the creative work and the analytical process of crafting your story as an offering to the world.
It’s all about writing at the speed of your nervous system to complete your first draft in a year and prepare for the publishing process.
What You’ll Get
This year of deep support, magical structure, and creative community has been developed to honor the nonlinear processes of exploration and discovery while guiding you with intention toward completing your raw and vulnerable first draft.
You’ll step into your liberated Author’s Voice, discover the meaning and metaphor that connect your most powerful stories, and craft a potent, culturally relevant manuscript that’s ready for the next steps on the path to publication.
Begin with the Goal in Sight
Six 90-minute sessions to launch your writing year and set yourself up for transformational success.
Our 6-week, small group Author-Up! Program is designed to catalyze your creative process and help you:
Set your energetic writing container;
Identify the key narratives to be woven throughout your memoir or hybrid nonfiction book;
Structure an embodied outline to support you in writing all the way through to completion of a first draft;
Uncover your true Author Identity and your secret reason for writing the book…which is likely deeper than you consciously know!
You’ll get written feedback from our editors and full access to all supplemental classes from the very first day!
Six 90-minute sessions to launch your writing year and set yourself up for transformational success.
Deepen into the Work
Turn your living outline into a fully realized first draft within the supportive structure of regular classes, workshops for live reader feedback, and accountability sessions, including:
Somatic Writing Curriculum sessions (1x/month) and all-year access to curriculum videos, pdfs, and more;
Writing Workshops (2x/month) to grow your body of work within creative community and empower you to ask for—and receive!—the types of feedback that feel most supportive to your process;
One-on-One Writing and Accountability Support (12 sessions) from a dedicated Somatic Writing Story Coach;
Story Archaeology sessions (2x/month) to take you into the creative depths and uncover the stories, themes, and metaphors that make up your unique narrative landscape;
Art of Storycraft sessions (2x/month) to bring you into engaged relationship with the tools and techniques of writing and introduce exercises for your own experimentation;
Special Topic sessions (1x/month) with guest facilitators from our team of Somatic Writing master teachers;
Full Moon/New Moon Visioning sessions (2x/month) to bring crystal clarity and hold yourself accountable to your goals and intentions using a simple but potent magical technique called the Author’s Black Book;
All Day Writing Intensive sessions (1 6-hr day/month) to help you drop into concentrated flow in the company of other writers who are committed to the same depth, vulnerability, and transformation that you are.
Develop Your Empowered Author Identity
Prepare to step into your leadership by doing the inner work of bringing your vision, values, and voice into coherence and establishing the personal and professional foundation for a book that is deeply relevant to the culture in these times:
Decolonizing Our Voices sessions (1x/month) to address and begin the work of untangling from internalized supremacy culture within a supportive and principled community container;
Author Identity Retreats (4 weekends/year) with special guests from our network of principled changemakers in the fields of publishing, somatics work, marketing and PR, as well as published authors who have leveraged their books into life-changing opportunities for professional growth and cultural impact!
As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without.
Writing a book will likely be one of the most significant and meaningful experiences of your life. At Somatic Writing™, our purpose is to support you in writing not just any book, but one that is born from your soul to connect powerfully with the audience that needs it. A book not as an object, but a living gift with a spirit in its own right.
The work that you’ll experience in this container is nothing short of magic.
In active relationship with the spirit of the book that lives inside of you, you’ll alchemize your lived truth into a powerful offering in story form. As you fulfill the deep soul contract to complete this work, you will also be actively shifting the energy in your life, making space for whole new possibilities to present themselves.
Once the book is published the magic continues, calling external reality into alignment with your newly claimed agency, authority, and identity. The path is different, of course, for each author and each book, but our clients have been thrilled to report experiences like:
Generating more income;
Making new, more soul-centered connections;
Feeling aligned with right livelihood;
Receiving opportunities for visibility, like speaking engagements, interviews, and more;
Standing in the deeper stories of their own lives with the artistry;
Celebrating the fulfillment of a life’s dream.
But the greatest magic of all might be seeing how your story will shift, inspire, and activate the lives of others.
Is Memoir Lab for Me?
At Somatic Writing, we’re devoted to supporting powerful, culture-shifting stories. We’ve designed Memoir Lab to be a crucible in which the books most needed in this time can be brought artfully and intentionally to life.
Our students share in this vision, whether they’ve published in the past or are just beginning their very first book. Not only are they inspired to offer their personal stories as a medium for meaningful change, they are also:
Dedicated to a regular writing practice;
Aligned with our values of inclusion, anti-racism, decolonization, and liberation for all;
Willing to do the tough inner work of dismantling systemic oppression necessary to make their books relevant in our culture;.
Far enough along in their personal healing journeys to write from a grounded, self-empowered place;
Well-resourced, however they interpret that for themselves, with a solid support system in place so that, if trauma does get triggered in the course of this deep work, they know they won’t be harmed.
If this speaks to who you are–as a person, a creator, and at the heart of your author’s identity–we would be honored to welcome you into our container.
Your Story. Your Book. One Life-Changing Year.
If you know deep-down that you have a story that needs to be told...
If you’re tired of abandoning your projects and your dreams, or if you’ve published before but want to write your next book in a different, more aligned and authentic way….
If you’re finally ready to claim your Author’s Voice, write the book that’s burning inside you, and step into a bigger version of your life than you’ve dared to live before…
Memoir Lab was created for you.
Join us in a magical container, where you’ll make meaning of your life’s experiences and turn your story into an offering to the world. You’ll be nurtured as a writer, challenged to delve deeper, and guided every step of the way toward completion of your first draft over the course of one intense and intentional year.
If this invitation stirs something in you that’s been aching to be expressed for longer than you can remember, the choice is yours: This time…what if you say yes?
“Following the longtime calling to write this memoir has been treacherous as much as it has been magical and transformative. The masterful and intuitive Somatic Writing team were with me every step of the way, offering steady support so that I could bring forth the book I was born to write. I am forever changed. I am forever thankful.”
Jen Peer Rich
PhD- Author, Speaker, Eco-psycologist
“I have been coached and trained by over 50 writers across the world, some with huge international recognition, and not one has ever opened me to myself the way the Somatic Writing process does. Tanya is a powerful guide through the chaotic and often painful journey of writing and discovery. If you've decided to write directly toward the truth no matter where it goes and you've found it challenging, lonely or scary... this is the answer. If you are a writer or aspiring to be, and you want a safe and powerful container to find your voice in writing, I can't recommend Somatic Writing enough."
Founder of Vox Verba & Writer
This book was knocking on the doors of my heart...but I didn’t have the courage to write it. In that moment of soul recognition, I knew that Somatic Writing was going to be the midwife to birth my book.
I didn’t have this cogent awareness that our body holds our stories, and that we can access them through writing. I was really able to go back in time and access the stories that I hadn’t been able to tell – the stories of longing, of desire – that we often shame ourselves for.
I had been changed on a very deep level; the Uma that started writing the book wasn't the Uma who finished writing the book.
For those of you who are still to be initiated into the potent healing magic of Somatic Writing's Memoir Lab, I want to warn you of a few things, before you step into this cauldron/crucible/sanctuary.
The Somatic Writing team are actually part healers, part shamans, and part good witches, cleverly disguised as writing mentors and coaches. Be sure you know what you are getting into before you put your money down.
Writing a memoir, or narrative nonfiction, is not for the faint of heart. Coming closer and closer to the real living energy of your life, the life that lives and breathes underneath and through the twists and turns of your story, will undo you.
ou will be unravelled and forever changed, and you will not be able to go back to who you were before you began this journey. Your views and beliefs and perspectives will be turned upside down and inside out, and you'll find that the story of your life is recreating you, as you wrestle with it, through the days and nights of this Lab.
You will also be undone by the profound kindness, care and wisdom that reveals itself in Somatic Writing, and by your fellow writers and travellers in the Lab. They will offer you a kind of love and compassion which will seem unreasonable and unfathomable at times.
Founder, Wide Awake Heart, Spiritual Mentor
Somatic Writing's process is like nothing else I've encountered in any writing sphere. Tanya once said to me, "I can’t promise you safety here." In its place, I was supported in the ultimate radical soul liberation: the telling of my story.
Author & Somatic Therapist
The Somatic Writing program is one of the best investments I’ve made in my life. Somatic Writing is masterful at creating a nourishing structure that invites me to write from the deep places I’ve longed to connect with but couldn’t access on my own. The experience has far exceeded my expectations and is pure nectar for my soul.
Mary Suzanne Garvey
Painter and Author
Somatic Writing is a journey to a deeper expression of self-awareness and personal truth. The experience of being led by Tanya and Courtney into embodied spirit, provided a safe place for story-craft and story-sharing like no other I have had in supportive writing groups. I grew through the progressive steps toward embracing the author’s role and the memoir form, and still felt the spaciousness and call to experiment creatively. If you are a writer who also identifies as a “seeker,” I urge you to give yourself the gift of “Author’s Up!” It may be the beginning of new life for your writing, as it has been for me.”
Somatic Writing has changed the direction of my life. The practices, the community and the team have thawed my frozen insides. Honest storytelling and deep listening to other people's stories have been truly life changing experiences for me. They continue to heal me, undo me, and bring love back in my life in so many ways. I am beyond grateful. Thank you so much my cohort, Tanya, Courtney and the entire team of Somatic Writing.
Writer and Mother
My inner experience of shifting from writer to author identity has been both terrifying and elating. Something quite magical happened in learning how to access my stories from a more body-informed place. Tanya and Courtney offer masterful practices rich in meaning and depth that helped me to excavate my layered stories and liberate my voice, cultivating the essential skills to write my book. The Author Up experience has moved me on so many levels as a writer, far beyond my expectations.
Ma.Ed, Creative Depth Coach
“Life changing! I’ve been working on my book for more than 30 years. I had boxes full of research, sample book proposals, beginning chapters. But I could never get beyond…I was frozen in my trauma.
I’ve learned to write from the trauma held in my body, rather than my fact-telling brain. Tanya and her team are brilliant mid-wives of memoir as you give birth to your unique story that only you can tell.”
Social Worker, Writer
The Somatic Writing process has been life-giving to my writing project and to me as an author. Somatic Writing provides the strong community, gentle accountability, and reliably insightful feedback on the work--elements I've found in other writing spaces individually, but never from one single resource. In addition, the powerful magical practices and trusting of the body's wisdom has resulted in the best writing I've ever done. I also appreciate that this process seems to work equally well for writers at all experience levels and in different phases with their relationship to their work. I'm forever grateful for this experience, and I'm sure I'll be engaging further.
Kimberly Robb Baker
Writer, Community Builder, Mother
“Somatic Writing gives us the space and process to open up and believe that we all have an important story to tell, and the permission to be our truest, messiest, and most magnificent selves...then helps us get it all written down. It has been a gift of a lifetime to become part of this community of writers.”
Actor, playwright, TED speaker
The process of Somatic Writing is a gift that will help you find the deepest truth, then hold your feet to the fire until you tell it to the best of your ability. Being in the Somatic Writing group takes the isolation out of being a writer and also out of the past I’m writing about, in which I had felt so alone. It helped me find the voice I lost as a child and gave it the space to develop now.
Psychotherapist & Writer
There are no words to express my depth of appreciation for the Somatic Writing process. Nothing else compares to its method: it is potent medicine and an answer to prayers! Somatic Writing's team of talented coaches offered me the perfect combination of inner permission and tactical "how to" structure. Somatic Writing was the missing element in me finishing the book I've wanted to write for years.
High Performance Coach, Speaker & Author
The Somatic Writing process unlocked the code for creating a perfect environment to cultivate radical growth. I am a busy entrepreneur with a story to share. The team was able to cultivate my skills in a way that gave a framework and a timeframe to see this project through from birth to creation. As a professional coach myself, I know good coaching works, but the Somatic Writing approach that is equal parts pragmatic and creative, supported my effort in a way that would be unmatched by someone else. My time in the program has provided my work and my life a quantum transformation. If you're looking to level up in life and in your creative work, look no further.
Hailee Bland Walsh
Writer & Owner of City Gym