Sidura Ludwig is a novelist and short story writer. Her collection of short fiction, You Are Not What We Expected, is published in Canada and the US by House of Anansi Press. Her novel, Holding My Breath was published by Key Porter Books (Canada), Shaye Areheart Books (US) and Tindal Street Fiction (UK) in 2007. She was a finalist for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award as well as a runner-up in the Little Bird Short Story Contest judged by Edi Esuygan. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sidura lives in Thornhill with her husband and three children. You can find her at siduraludwig.com.
Before I found Sarah Selecky Writing School, I was falling out of love with writing. Writing and I had had some very good times in the past. Successes and highlights. We had so much potential together. And then I was working on this manuscript and I realized there was no spark. I had no idea where writing and I were going together. If we even fit anymore.
And yet, being a writer was all I knew. At some point I came across Sarah’s website and a blog she wrote about how writers and their writing can sometimes seem like a relationship going through tough times. I thought, Yes! Someone understands! She promised that it didn’t have to be this way. That I could find a way to love writing again. And so I took the plunge.
The Story Course strips you down to the core of what it means to tell your story. It helps you access those parts of your writing gut that you may be too scared to mine. It was like someone holding my hand and gently taking me back into territory I already knew, but was now seeing through a different lens. I would go through the different lessons in the self-directed course and find myself sitting with my journal for hours and pages writing story after story. Discovering new characters. Rediscovering old ones. Becoming pleasantly surprised by my voice, which I thought I had lost. At the end of each writing session I felt the spark I had been missing before.
After completing the self-directed course, I became a student in the Story Course and the Story Intensive. The communities I found were invaluable to me. I have been challenged and supported in immeasurable ways. I have met incredible writing teachers who have shared their wisdom and experiences. Having a group that I was accountable to made all the difference as I worked towards finishing that first draft, or editing that story I thought was going no where. Through these writing communities I know longer felt alone – even when most of the time it was just me, my jumbled thoughts and a blank page.
I’m honoured to be a part of the SSWS faculty. Writing journeys are exhausting and confusing. You need to trust yourself that you have stories worth telling. I know how hard it can be to trust your voice, but I also know the exhilaration of pushing through and discovering stories you didn’t even realize you had to tell. It’s my pleasure to be starting your journey with you. Trust me, it’s worth taking.