Sara Moss - Author

Aspiring authors and nonfiction fans, welcome.

If you:

  • dream of writing your own book and having readers tell you how much they enjoyed it — I’m here to help

  • love curling up with a book to enjoy real-world places, true stories and ideas — I’m here to create for you.

Hi, I’m Sara; an Australian writer and author with a crush on curiosity, creativity and good design. (I’m also a big fan of courage — you may see that theme in my articles here.)

I’m based in Sydney now, but sometimes that feels temporary, having visited 40 countries for work and play — and lived in a few, too. I’ll let you know where I end up next.

Want in on top nonfiction reads, writing and (quality) self-publishing tips, and other goodness? That’s what I share in my notes from the studio each month. Don’t miss them.

 
 
SM-AboutHeader.jpg
 

When’s the right time to write a book? How do you even start? Here’s how I decided.


My first pay cheque for a writing job hit my letter box in 1999 — and I’ve been writing professionally one way or another since — but it wasn’t until late 2015 near the base of Oregon’s Mt Hood that something shifted for me.

In a resort conference room with about 100 other eager early-stage entrepreneurs, I shivered at my ah-ha moment while listening to a keynote speech.

From the well-lit small stage, with its set reminiscent of a pioneer’s cabin in the woods, the speaker was talking about dropping ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ in business and tapping into the kernels of desire constantly being masked.

“What would you do if there was nothing left you had to do?” she asked.

I’ll be honest: I got a little teary as the answer rumbled into being.

It’s time.

My freelance editing business is the most lovingly-constructed, elaborate mechanism for procrastination.

On that sunny October morning in the Pacific Northwest, I decided it was time to write my book. The one I had always assumed — in a vague, nebulous way — I would create, but had never actually planned.

‘One day’ had arrived.

When I flew home to Sydney, I enlisted friends to check in with me during coming weeks to ensure I didn’t chicken out. I’d made the initial public profession but it was still such a fragile idea.

One person I’d already mentioned it to before I left America had unflinchingly asked:

Why would anyone want to read about you?

Ouch. But good question. One I had to answer. Until I realised I didn’t.

Not then.

I could only be sure about why I wanted to tell the story. Why others might want to read it, was entirely up to them. Sure, when the time arrived, I’d market the book and encourage people to buy it because I was sure I’d believe others would enjoy it.

But before a single word had been written, I could only commit to doing whatever would be needed to extract the story from myself.

It took 3 months to confirm my decision — to get the fuel for it deep in my bones.

My dedication to creating the very best first book I could, was invaluable. (Despite many people on the internet quick to advise high standards should be abandoned, in favour of ‘just getting it out there’).

There’s already enough crap in the world.


I’ve learned a lot and plan to share it, so it may help you too.

GO: A memoir of wanderlust and anxiety took 2 years to write — including a research period and 5.5 drafts. Post-production took a further 6 months. I’m proud of the finished product and how it has moved early readers to say “I LOVED it” (their emphasis).

You can find out more and buy it from here.

 
 

On writing about mental health


 
 

Maybe you relate to dealing with anxiety? If not, it’s possible someone you love can.

In 2016, a global review by Cambridge University researchers estimated 4 in every 100 people have an anxiety condition. Each year anxiety affects more than 60 million people in the EU; approximately 44 million people in the USA; and at least 2 million people in Australia.*

I decided this occasional ‘lodger’ was one I’d throw light upon. Open all the doors and curtains and windows, to leave it squinting in the morning sun, with a clear view to the rest of the world. As a reminder that troublesome anxiety was only a fraction of my experience.

Keeping it a secret — so deeply and utterly — had fed its power for too long.

Not anymore. GO is out. It’s about so much more than wanderlust and anxiety, however: It’s time to normalise talking about mental health and the different ways in which we all react to life.

No one lives unscathed, without any struggle. Education and compassion require informed conversations and a willingness to be vulnerable. Let’s have more of all of that, eh?

* Sources: BBC news, 6 June 2016; NIMH; Beyond Blue

 
 

Still curious?

I like that about you.

Fun facts, because you’ve read this far:

  • My nana taught me to say the alphabet backwards when I was 6; it’s been more useful than expected.
  • The only sports I’ve tried as an adult are fencing and archery (‘Renaissance woman’ all the way).

 

Here’s the more formal, third-person bio:

Sara Moss is an Australian writer and independent author with a multidisciplinary background in journalism, photography, drama and user experience design.

She’s worked throughout Australia and internationally, with big and small business, entrepreneurs, governments, travel guides and magazines. Mostly as a writer; also as a researcher, editor, photographer and for a little while, a UX and CX practitioner. 

‘Home’ has been myriad places: the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Canberra, Brisbane, London and rural France. Sara currently lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with her partner and blends solitude and collaboration to make beautiful books.

 
 

Books you can’t put down + writing tips to help you finish your own

For the nonfiction lover. for the dedicated aspiring author.

Your sign up bonus: top reads to enlighten, inspire and comfort.

 
SM-OptIn-Banner.jpg