Lindsey Smith is a writer living in Houston, Texas. She earned a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 and has spent the intervening years dedicated to the craft of writing both fiction and creative non-fiction. In 2016, one of her short stories placed in the Little Bird Writing Contest and was selected for publication in The Little Bird Anthology Vol. 6. She is currently at work on her second novel. Find her at lindseynsmith.com.
Iwas just a baby writer when I found The Story Course. I had written – or rather micromanaged into existence– two stories that I did not like, and I was actively looking for answers. In Paris Review interviews. On the thirtieth page of a Google search. In SEO-laden copy from strangers promising me a fiction writing formula that would rock my socks. I remember it vividly. All that angst and fear calcified inside of my body. All that compulsive clicking. Writing and then deleting everything I wrote. What I wanted was to know how people did it. How did everyone else will their stories into beautiful being? It was a case of looking for love in all the wrong places.
But then I found The Story Course. When I slipped in my ear buds and pressed play on lesson one, something shifted. Sarah’s voice helped, I think. She was calm, knowing. And under her influence, I did my very first freewrite.
Freewriting changed everything. I unclenched my writing fist and started allowing for a little magic, a little mystery. Freewriting, for me, is the not-so-secret secret, the answer. It’s my meditation. It’s where I discover who I am and what obsesses me. It’s where all the juicy stuff comes from.
Sarah and her school demystified the act of writing for me, the very physical act of Being a Writing Writer. The Story Course and later The Story Intensive gave me a new family, a new language, and a new found respect for my subconscious mind. It helped me find and trust my own unique process for bringing stories into the world. That’s why I love this school and why it’s such an honor now to be part of the teaching staff.
I love helping to facilitate these big steps, these full-scale paradigm shifts, these creative ahas. I love dissolving the idea that as writers we need anyone else’s permission to do what we do. Most of all, I love the writers that I meet here. We’re all in this together!