It took quiet a while for Sarah and I to nail down a date for her Head Shot Shoot after she initially contacted me. That’s because Sarah, unbeknownst to me at the time, has created a business for herself that allows her to travel to Greece and other gorgeous locations, spending time with aspiring writers from all over the world, being inspired and creating together. When we finally did meet in person for the shoot, I was astounded by Sarah’s strength, energy and self-assuredness. This was a woman I wanted to be in the presence of, just to absorb some of her vibrant energy and to learn from her. I’m certain that this is not the last time our paths cross, Sarah, I can assure you!
So to my readers, find out more about this charismatic woman below, and be sure to follow her online…
The Writing Room is a place of support for writers and authors. We run various writing courses and mentoring programmes, talks and events for all levels of writers in South Africa, Greece, Colorado and online. We are really here to help you get your book written, and get you the entire way through the publishing process.
Who’s your target market?
I am an agent and writing coach, working with both writers and publishers. Along with my team I will support, cajole, inspire and intimidate you to fulfill your dream to write a book.
What problem of theirs do you solve?
I work with writers and publishers all over the world to help you to find and tell YOUR best story – in any format. This could be a speech, a book, a novel, a personal essay or a professional book.
Why do you do what you do?
Writing and books are in my blood. Straight after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree I started out as a financial journalist working in London and then I worked my way up in magazines and newspapers. I was writing loads of stories for women’s and men’s glossy magazines when I got commissioned to write my first book! It was just a really lucky break. The publisher just said… ‘Sarah do you feel like writing a book, send me some ideas’. I sent off a two-page proposal and they loved it! The book sold modestly but it changed my life and catapulted me into the world of books. I was already a magazine editor so that’s how I moved into books. Over many years of writing books, ghost writing and editing I started to work more with other writers on their projects. I found I loved that even more than writing myself.
What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner & how did you overcome it?
Late last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had been working so hard for so many years, pushing myself, taking on too much and putting myself somewhere at the bottom of the list behind my kids and making ends meet. The diagnosis was such a huge shock. I knew that I had to change the way I worked and handled stress. I stopped taking on too many clients and chose to totally change how I run my business and workshops. I said no to more, yes to the things I love and I focussed on creating a business of the heart, working with writers to make their dreams come true. I have expanded as a literary agent and I am placing more books with publishers locally and internationally.
What advice would you give other business women, either starting out or already in business?
Do your time and learn your craft. Starting a business takes time – it has taken me close to 8 years to grow my business where I can solely support myself off… and employ others. It works to be humble and learn from people who have experience first as a career is a lifelong path.
What would you do differently if you could start your business again?
Running a small business means loads of challenges…. cash flow, people not arriving for courses, a locked venue when we arrive on the day, flights delayed to international conferences, books not arriving. Each one is just a step you can laugh about (much) later.