Charmed, I’m sure

Hi, my name is Pema Rocker.

Before going to work as a writer, and then an editor, I took day jobs based on the kinds of characters I could meet. Coworkers became character studies. I’d observe them and myself interacting with our lives, each other, watching for the moments on which our lives would pivot, and for the people we’d become in the changes.

The close watching brought me deeply into the workings of story, and deeply into the circumstances of our lives, individual and connected. Our stories relate us, whether we’re selling or buying or trying to get by. When we tell our stories, we begin to understand what moves us, and others.

I came to believe that you may not have to share your story, but you have to find it. It’s your touchstone. Story opens your expertise, your heart, your possibilities. It makes you accessible and your offer sound. Story informs.

The journey of a voice…

I’ve spent more years as a writer unlocking writers block than I have at any one profession. Writing is a language that communicated for me in younger years, when my speech would lock in brain traffic. In later years, my refuge in writing clouded over, too, instigating a campaign to unlock my expression.

While raising my own was difficult, writing a voice for others was somehow easy. I founded my copy writing business in 2005, and grew from ghostwriting to branding to channeling the essence of the entrepreneurs I wrote for into story.

Meanwhile, my personal writing practice grew as I approached, failed, re-approached, reconsidered, and approached again the challenge of expressing my stories. These efforts, I eventually learned, were the point to writing…to push up against what is difficult, and keep crafting.

My freelance career began after college, as a features writer and editor-in-chief for my community’s LGBT magazine in California. At the same time, I wrote a a weekly interview column for a city Arts and Entertainment paper. These interviews early on set the framework for what I would keep learning as a writer, to this day, in my career.

They taught me to listen, first of all, and to disappear in the writing, so that my subject could shimmer in his or her individuality. Eighteen years later, my listening is my greatest tool. It has deepened my relationships and absorbed industry languages (finance, technology, online advertising, grantmaking, entertainment, and others in the private and nonprofit sectors). My story coaching continues to center on what I hear, and what can come to the surface as a result.

A few details and influences…

I went to grad school for playwriting at The New School University’s Actor’s Studio Drama School in NYC.

There I studied Method acting, which looked like long days each week accessing emotional triggers, investigating relationships, learning to say what I mean, listening between the lines, finding authentic and being it, and writing it all down into characters and circumstances.

Produced playwright, and creator/writer of a failed (and really fun to make) sit com.

Creator of Story Charming Parties and Talk Your Draft, Write Your Book.

Former brand and copy writer for what I call “guru personalities,” those whose personality is the driving factor in their products and sales.

Introduced to writing for the online (and inspired) audience by Danielle LaPorte, as one of twelve writers on the staff of her early blog, Carrie and Danielle.

Pop-up interviewer, as broadcast here, hustled here, and strategized here and here.

Writer of the memorial blog series, “Memory to Light: 31 days of stories, August 11 to September 11, 2011,” creator and facilitator of the community blog and call series, “The Wake Up Project” (2012), and “Story Changers: Love,” a community reading and call series (2010).

Character Dream Work with The Actors Studio’s Elizabeth Kemp, Dream Tending coursework with Pacifica Graduate Institute founder, Dr. Stephen Aisenstadt.

Four years Core Energetic modality of therapy, which in the words of Wiki, is a system of body-oriented psychotherapy that labels itself as a bridge between psychology and spirituality.

Gypsy (quite possibly in reform as life transitions post-marriage!)

Secret muse of many things.

 

My skills are at your service.

 

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