Hi, I’m Greta
I am a London-based writing coach and author with 13 years of experience training individuals and companies in writing skills. My work is about helping people to feel and heal through creative self-expression – using the tool of writing. I teach practical writing techniques that help you be a better writer AND take you on a journey of self-discovery.
I’m an INFP on the Myers-Briggs scale (an outgoing introvert and highly sensitive person). I train, coach and mentor creatives, thinkers, artists, healers and writers through my books and workshops.
I believe that creative self-expression is the pathway to self-love
In 2006, after a four-year ‘creative pilgrimage’, I started working as a personal English tutor. I soon found that my creative methods helped students to quickly go from C grades to A grades. Through this work, I also discovered a talent for helping people overcome the blocks, fears and shame that stops them from fully expressing themselves. After a few years, I moved into business writing training, creating and delivering writing workshops for multi-billion-pound companies and international business organisations. These experiences have gifted me a complete writing toolkit.
Most people don't realise just how many blocks and fears they have around writing, and how these are woven into their psyche. When you break though these, you not only become an effective writer, but you can also use writing to discover and recover who you are. The subtitle of my latest book Heart, Sass & Soul is 'Journal Your Way to Inspiration and Happiness', and that's exactly what you can do.
I have a background in psychology, performance arts and journalism
I represented Great Britain in the 2003 Model of the Universe contest. I am trained in speaking, professional acting, improvisation and performance poetry. I have performed at The Nordic Black Theatre, guided writing workshop groups around Addis Ababa, been the host of a global careers conference and have chaired publishing industry panel discussions. I have spoken about writing, creativity and self-expression in a variety of international auditoriums and workshop rooms. I also held the post of visiting lecturer in business writing at University of London, City.
As a journalist, I have held staff roles at Woman and Executive Woman and my freelance articles have been published in Red, Kindred Spirit and Forbes.com, as well as a variety of national newspapers and magazines. I am also a published poet and songwriter and have been featured in international media including Psych Central and The Independent.
I have a BSc in Psychology (University of Warwick, 1999). I am a certified life coach, a trained lifelong learning teacher and hold a specialist certificate in lyric writing from Berklee College of Music. I live in South West London with my husband and our daughter.
My story: From the 'good girl', to the wilderness, to a creative awakening
I had been Head Girl at High School in London. I was also an award-winning violinist, champion athlete and left college with three A grades at A-level. I was an over-achiever who largely hid my creative and artistic side in order to survive, and I adopted a different persona. I began actively dismantling this after graduating from university in 1999 with a degree in Psychology. I did this through journaling and writing and beginning the long process of finding who I truly was.
This came to a head in 2002, during my second job as a magazine journalist. On paper, it was the DREAM JOB, but I just felt blocked and stifled. I felt un-creative and as though I was on a conveyor belt. I had done what society told me to do – get A grades, go to a top university and get a good job. But inside I felt that my true self was lost.
I went freelance as a journalist and spent four years exploring my creativity to see where it led. Ignoring a lot of raised eyebrows, I studied professional acting at The Poor School for two terms and later won a coveted place at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood (which was too expensive to take up). I became a beauty queen – representing Great Britain in the Model of the Universe Competition. I travelled extensively, writing health, lifestyle and travel articles for magazines. I did promotional and film extra work work and sold tequila shots in night clubs for extra cash. I also modelled for black hair and beauty brands and appeared in short films and reality TV shows. I became a published poet and top-line songwriter, securing music publishing deals covering the UK, Belgium and Holland.
But the truth is that I was frantically paddling and only barely keeping my head above the water. I had taken a massive leap into the creative unknown and failed in my goal of becoming an actress. This took me into what I call the ‘wilderness’, where I felt completely alone. It was tough and it was painful. However, my life – both inner and outer – began to transform. I started to live my truth.
By the time I started teaching writing in 2006, I was able to see the WHOLE PICTURE. I was open-minded. I knew there was no ONE PATH. I knew that each person needs to strip off the layers of conditioning to find what lights them up. My students weren’t machines who needed grades to fit into the cogs of life. They were whole people, who needed a whole-brained, whole-hearted approach.
But of course, my story doesn’t end with me finding my purpose as a writing coach, teacher and speaker.
My mother died by suicide two years later. My booked-out tutoring business, with a long waiting list, became all-consuming and didn’t allow me space to grieve. Instead, I moved into the corporate world to work as a journalist in a PR consultancy, working my way up to account director level in less than two years. Then I moved to Norway (for six years) resuming my work – this time as a business writing trainer, again with my own business.
The funny thing is that on the outside now, my life looks conventional. I’ve been married for eight years. I live in a suburb of London. We have a six-year-old daughter who I ferry around to activities. Instead of travelling with a loose plan and a dream, I’m a big fan of a package holiday with a kids club and a pool (I do still make sure that I go off on solo personal development retreats, though)! I’m just as woo, as I’ve always been. However, the inner journey to get here has been immense and anything BUT conventional.
I have focused on how I feel, not how I appear to other people. At the beginning of my journey, when I worked full-time as a magazine journalist, people told me how foolish I was to leave an amazing job where everything was good on paper. Some people thought I was unambitious or unsuccessful for always having at least one side hustle – at a time when it wasn’t seen as acceptable or desirable. Some thought I was on the shelf, because I was 32 and single. Many thought I was foolish for trying and failing. Foolish for falling down and getting up, again and again. Foolish for having a life like the EEG machine of a person on life support – up and down and jagged – instead of a flat line. Because we’ve been taught to go for the flat line. Yet, if we do that, we can feel dead inside.
And the life I have now is only because somehow I had the courage to answer the call. The call to wake-up. And then I answered it over, and over again. And when I got to the wilderness, I filled it with creativity and self-expression.
For the past 13 years, I have trained, coached and mentored hundreds of writers. I have influenced many more through my talks, articles and books.
I have collected a whole toolkit of creativity and self-expression techniques over the years, and I layer in techniques from journalism and a whole host of creative disciplines. But it’s my work on shame that most often resonates with my clients. When you bring shame to light it can’t survive – so it’s crucial to tackle it head-on.
I have run writing workshops and programmes for both kitchen-table bloggers and multi-million-pound companies. I have spoken at universities and conferences and in living rooms. I have nurtured groups and individuals online and off-line.
So, do you yearn to write – really write? The things you don’t dare to say. The feelings you’ve long pushed away. And the stuff of life you haven’t yet tackled.
Writers usually find a way to write. The problem is you may be working in communications, journalism, law or another profession where you get to write, but only on the job.
Or you may have carved out time and space to write (in between parenting, or socialising, or scrolling through Instagram, or making headway in your career), only to feel blocked and stifled. There’s a book, article, novel, poem or blog post there but it’s stuck. There’s a layer of gunk stopping it from being expressed. And all the green juices and yoga stretches in world can’t clear this. Not addressing this can lead to self-blame and doubt, pulling you further away from your writing dreams. Or maybe you just want to finally learn how to use writing as a powerful tool for personal development – for your own awakening.
I help you hold that deep desire to write, while you tackle the things that are getting in the way. So, we tackle mindset blocks, while also doing creative writing exercises. You experience the joy of writing freely and easily, while also uncovering the specific incidents of shame that hold you back. I teach you practical writing techniques that both professional and non-professional writers can use – all while helping you develop a holistic approach to your creativity.
My approach is to fully wake you up, in mind, body and spirit. It’s about writing, but it’s also about expressing who you truly are.