When I found Lauren a year and a half ago, the sloppy first draft of my novel had been on the shelf for close to four years. I was stuck, but she helped me figure out what was going on.
First of all, I’m an INFP, and the state of my first draft (filled with plot holes, repetition, and continuity errors) was not weird for someone like me. Lauren helped me realize that there’s no way I could write my book without writing it as myself, so the messiness of my book was actually good news. I hadn’t been able to stick with my outline, and I hadn’t been able to maintain consistent timelines and physical descriptions. But by letting those things go and following my heart in the first draft, I’d been able to find the story and even something of my own voice. Lauren told me that every logic error and missing piece could be fixed, and now that I’m almost done with the process, I believe her.
One of Lauren’s many gifts is her ability to find and point out the goodness in things, which for me was a great way to begin my revisions, because it helped me talk my inner critic down off its ledge. She read my draft, wrote all sorts of helpful comments in it, and then we talked on the phone every two or three weeks for a year as I wrote my way into a second draft, and then a third. Talking with her always leaves me more encouraged and joyful. She also helps me deepen my relationship to my characters and sink more deeply into my own writing style by suggesting ways to use music, meditation, and art as part of my process.
I’m now almost ready to start querying, and the book is taking on a satisfying doneness. I’m no longer terrified when I think about publication. It’s hard to imagine that this book and I would’ve come so far together without the encouragement, skill, and subtle structural support that Lauren offers as a coach.
—Katarina Stenstedt, INFP writer
When Lauren came into my life, I wasn’t writing and I wondered if I would ever write again. I was in a very difficult place. I had been following her blog, reading posts here and there. Then one day during the holidays, I saw her post about her book, The INFJ Writer. I immediately felt drawn to read it. I didn’t know the book would be the first step in finding myself again. Through her book, Lauren touched my heart deeply — I cried, I laughed, but most of all, I felt relief. It seemed I’d met in Lauren a kindred soul, someone who’d known me for lifetimes. After finishing The INFJ Writer, I knew Lauren was going to help me write again. She did just that — and so much more.
On our first call, the free consult call, Lauren took the time to get to know me and find out where I was with my writing. She gave me exercises to do before our next session. They weren’t writing exercises. These were exercises that led me on a path of self-discovery, and within a few days I was writing and couldn’t stop. If I’d never talked to Lauren again, the gifts she gave me in that consultation call were enough to open me wide to my creativity. But, I didn’t stop with that call. I felt like Lauren had not only set me on a path of writing regularly, which is my lifeline, but also a path of emotional and spiritual healing. I wanted to see it through, I wanted to know where Lauren would lead me. During every call, Lauren created a safe space in which she guided me through the sometimes dark and muddy waters of exploring myself, discovering my creative process, and coming to the understanding that writing is a deeply personal craft. With Lauren’s help, I found myself as a writer. And, for me, Lauren is my writing mentor. With an ever grateful heart, and without hesitation, I recommend Lauren to every writer, whether the writer is struggling to get words on the page or not. Lauren is a guide, a teacher, a catalyst.
—Michelle, INFJ writer
I have been working with Lauren for almost a year and a half now. I had been thinking about getting a writing coach for more than a year before that but had always talked myself out of it. Shouldn’t I be able to undertake my creative journey on my own?
But making this decision and working with Lauren has been a game changer for me. I had been following Lauren’s lovely blog for a few years (without ever commenting or connecting in any way) before I approached her, so I already knew that I deeply resonated with her thought process. I am an INFP and an HSP. As a fellow sensitive creative, Lauren not only understands my process, but has also helped me fine-tune it. For example; For INFPs, she recommends a mosaic form of writing. This means that even if you are writing a nonfiction piece, you don’t have to follow an outline step-by-step. Instead, you can pick out a sub-topic or a bullet point from any part of the outline (if you are working from one), anything that calls to you on that specific day and work on it. Little by little, you can work on the pieces of your mosaic till you finally put it all together in the end.
I think this is such an important piece for INFP writers. We are not step-by-step, linear thinkers. Our most inspired writing happens when we follow our feelings and intuitions. So, this approach honors our intuitive style while also showing us how to put something together without it being all over the place. This is just one example of something I have learnt from Lauren.
Lauren is also very astute about understanding why you might be stuck and figuring out solutions for it. She has given me great feedback and has been a wonderful believing mirror on my creative journey. I would highly recommend working with her!
—Ritu Kaushal, www.walkingthroughtransitions.com
Before I started working with Lauren, I had no confidence in myself as a writer. I struggled with self-doubt and fear and would go for weeks, sometimes months, without writing.
Within the first week of working with her, she had identified one of my major stumbling blocks, which was namely a lack of trust: lack of trust in myself as a writer, lack of trust in the writing process and in my characters.
Her intuitive, encouraging, and gentle coaching style has helped me gain confidence in myself, my abilities, and my stories. She’s helped me find joy in writing again, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not thankful to have her in my corner. I honestly can’t imagine being on this journey without her.
—G.R. LeBlanc, YA Author and Haiku Poet
I’m so glad I found Lauren. As a writer and fellow INFJ, I feel like we speak the same language. I didn’t want to join a writing group or go to therapy to deal with my writing angst, I just wanted one person to talk to, one objective person who would help me find my way and encourage me along with this project. Lauren’s coaching is gentle, intuitive, and experience-based. Just what I needed!
—Anna-Marie O’Brien, Memoir Author
I started working with Lauren about a year ago, and the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. Initially, I hoped her coaching would help me transition from my years as a freelance journalist into a full-time novelist, but it’s turned out to be much more than that. Not only have I discovered so much more about myself as a fiction writer, but many of the goals I had when we started working together have also grown and evolved. And I just can’t say enough good things about her as a motivating influence – she offers constructive advice, is always ready to read my stuff, and gives creative tips on how and where to find an audience for my work. She’s fantastic!
—Liz Kellar, Contemporary Fiction Author
Lauren has been exactly what I needed to guide me through the book writing process. She makes putting a book together a manageable undertaking. She is incredibly supportive and encouraging and often has creative suggestions regarding book organization and writing career development. She knows intuitively what to do and say to motivate me. Prior to working with Lauren my book project constantly got put on the back burner but I’ve now made satisfying and tangible progress.
—Brenda Knowles, Founder and Author of Space2Live.com
Lauren Sapala is both a secret to my success and my sanity. She is an unofficial mini-agent with writing coach prices. Try her for a month, and you won’t be disappointed.
—Steven Mix, Fantasy/Horror Author