Imagine, if you will, sitting around a campfire, hot chocolate in hand, marshmallows at the ready. What story would you tell? Since time began, we’ve relied on stories.
“But, what if I don’t have a story to tell?” I hear you whisper. Well whether you are ten or a hundred and ten, you have something to say. My aim is to help build your confidence through exploring your creative voice. I would like to teach you how to connect through storytelling and the joy of writing.
Just like everyone has a special pattern on their finger which gets bigger as you grow, everyone has a special story to tell. I would like to show you that you too can be creative. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You don’t have to be a good speller, and your grammar may not be perfect. Just like your fingerprint is different, so is your story. Let me help you find their writing fingerprint.
Together we will find the way to get your words and meanings into someone’s heart.
It doesn’t matter if your story is for your friends meeting up for a coffee or for a theatre full of people. Tell your story. A good story is knowing how to say it in a way that others lean forward and ask, ‘And then what happened?’
I can’t wait to get started. Can you?
He arrived in South Africa and did his best to settle in. At first, he didn’t speak the language. Going door to door trying to sell wares that he had no interest in, he slowly picked up clues from the people around him. They would swear at him and slam the door in his face and he’d take the insults and move on. He had a family to support. To him, the words didn’t hurt anywhere nearly as much as the sound of baby Sammy’s hungry cry. What counted was the smile on Anna’s four-year-old face or the milk he could bring home for his lovely wife, Bella. Wearily, he climbed the steps of the red polished stoep. It was the last house and his feet were throbbing, his lungs were filled with the dust of the street and all he had to keep him going, was hope.
‘Just one sale today,’ he said to himself. ‘Just one,’ he prayed. He raised his tired hand and sluggishly knocked on the brown door. While he watched the silhouette of a woman coming towards him on the other side of the stained-glass door his optimism came back to him.
‘Aw voetsek,’ she said spitting spat the words out with venom as she slammed the door. It was what you’d say to a stray dog, ‘Get out of here –piss off’ and it was just one too many insults for this gentle Polish man who had been through so much to get here. For the first time in his life, he didn’t want to stand for it. He took a deep breath and shouted back, ‘Voetsek? Is that what you say. Well, I say to you, Voetsek myself!’ Later he would kick himself more for getting the tenses mixed up but in that one moment, he just couldn’t care anymore.
I spoke to Xanti when I had the inspiration to write a book about our family’s story – Four Corners Family. She wholeheartedly supported me and introduced me to Joanne Fedler’s Seven Day Writing Challenge and Author Awakening Adventure both of which I loved. They gave me the initial grounding for starting to write but it has been Xanti’s mentorship that has helped me to truly get stuck in. I honestly don’t think I would be doing this around home-schooling my girls if it weren’t for Xanti. For me, she is the perfect blend of constructive editing, next step guidance and positive support. She is really tuned in to me, I love our sessions and her feedback is spot on. I’m so grateful for Xanti’s professional mentorship and her friendship. I highly recommend her. – Lisa Gylsen
I highly recommend Xanti if you’re looking for a writing coach/mentor who can help you find your path in your story/book. Not only does Xanti give a clear, concise and helpful critique. She is also a fabulous soundboard for our ideas – and fears. If you’re looking for that type of support, look no further. – Natalie, Writer and Coach
Before working with Xanti, I had a very didactic style of writing which came across as standing on a soapbox, preaching. Xanti taught me to deliver my message more effectively by changing the tone of my writing. I had never tried this style of writing before and I was nervous but Xanti’s constant encouragement, guidance and support enabled me to overcome my fears and tackle the task head on. She was always there to catch me if I fell and her guidance was always clear and kind – I always felt excited and happy to make any changes she suggested. I never felt alone through my learning process and her gentle approach always inspired me to try harder. She has moulded me into a far better writer today and I am deeply grateful to her! – Kalyani Pardeshi
Xanti gently guided me through my storytelling process. I learned about showing and not telling while at the same time I found out how to better connect with my reader. She taught me how to tease the story out and I found my writing voice at the same time. Now I feel I can consider myself a writer. – Patricia
I thought I knew how to tell a good story until Xanti took me under her wing. Her soft but honest way brought out the best in my writing. Our monthly Skype meetings helped me find a stronger voice and gave me the confidence to show other people my writing. She tailored the sessions to my needs and I was able to get feedback on my work each month. – Angela