Meet Holly Payberg-Torroija

This is the part where I’m supposed to give you my snazzy bio and credentials, but the truth is, the only thing you really need to know is: why choose me as your writing coach? So here it goes…

Like you (and Maya Angelou), I know "the pain of carrying an untold story" and I’ve spent my entire adult life working to change that.

It started over 30 years ago, when an idea for a movie flashed before my eyes, and I thought, it’d be a shame not to get that out. That dream, to not only write, but also make, the film I saw in my initial vision, started a journey that took me all the way to the tops of Hollywood and back.

I went through all the phases a writer goes through: from not having the confidence to even call myself a writer, to being a frustrated writer lacking the know how and discipline to complete projects, to completing projects, but being too sensitive to take notes, to becoming a professional, able to collaborate and deliver under any constraints/deadlines, to ultimately producing for myself.

I wish I could say that I loved the process, but I did not. Like so many writers, I endlessly beat myself up, suffered chronic imposter’s syndrome due to serial amnesia about my talent, gave myself unrealistic and cruel deadlines, pushed myself to be what I thought others wanted me to be, and never gave myself the satisfaction of ever being enough. As soon as I hit any level of what could be considered "success", I would move the goal post. It was 30 years of self torture mixed with bouts of greatness. And then the pandemic hit…

My mad dash towards some imaginary finish line that needed to be hit yesterday, was brought to an immediate and abrupt halt. And in the chaos of this worldwide change, guess where I found myself turning for comfort? Writing, of course. 

I didn’t just turn to writing to help myself through it. I started teaching others how to help themselves using storytelling too. And that’s when I experienced what I am now calling “The Great Duh of 2020”. It hit me that there really is nothing I love more than writing and helping my fellow writers. Truly, madly and deeply. The reason I wasn’t loving it or the process was because of all the pressures and ridiculous expectations I had piled on top of it. 

I think somewhere down deep I must have thought the pressure and the drive was the fuel needed to make me a better writer, and that I didn't deserve to call myself a writer unless I was blockbuster famous. But now I see that the whole tortured artist thing I was living was just a bunch of baloney. I didn’t become a better writer because of the torment and ambition, I became a better writer despite it. 

I could suddenly see that if I had just slowed down and accepted that developing my craft, and my voice as a writer, takes the time it takes, I actually could have gone deeper, gotten better faster and had a lot more fun doing it. 

So I gave up all the dreams. Simplified my life. Borrowed everything I've learned from the last 30 years to create a process centered roadmap in the form of a writing program. And decided to dedicate my life to using it to give my fellow writers (and myself) the kind of love, support and guidance I wish I would have had. And yes, I’ve been deeply loving the process (and my life) ever since.

Long story short, if you’re someone with stories you know you need to write, but are petrified you might die with them still inside you. Or you're a professional currently torturing yourself like I was. And you want a compassionate writing coach who comes from the place of having been there, who knows intimately all the things that might stop you, I’ve got your back. Let’s get on a call. 

Also, for those that need it, here’s the snazzy credentials…