Welcome

Hello! I’m Hayley. I’m a ghostwriter and creative writing teacher. Come in. Pull up a chair. Take off your shoes. There’s tea in the pot.

I’m so glad you’ve come because I have so much to share … about me, about you, but most of all about stories and how they shape our lives: how we can tell them honestly, and in doing so, how we can develop, smile, heal and grow; and how others can benefit from our shared voices.

There is nothing more important to me than honesty because I grew up in a house of lies. The walls were papered with them, the roof was tiled with them, we ate them, washed with them, snuggled under them as we slept at night and awoke with them as every fresh day dawned. As an adult, as truth smashed its way through the lies, I have been forced to rewrite my own story to include abuse in my family to which I was ignorant. I have had to recast heroes as monsters and rebels as victims and reshuffle my whole perspective of a beautiful childhood sun that dazzled me so completely. I have never experienced such pain, but after the pain comes strength and a new perspective on life … of discovering how to cope, knowing that the little things are no longer important, that if I can survive this and still smile and love and take pleasure in the small things, then I can truly survive anything.

And that’s my story … or at least one of them. It forms the basis of my current work in progress, which I’m attempting to write with the same bravery that I see in my clients. I owe it to the people I work with to strip myself this bare because it’s what I ask of them, whether I’m interviewing a ghost-writing client before writing their autobiography or memoir, or encouraging students and those in the community to commit the details of their lives to paper. It is sometimes excruciating, but it is a process that allows us to reflect, evaluate, see things clearly and heal. It is both liberating and revelatory. And when we share our stories, we are sending a gift of hope into the world.

Feel free to explore my blog. I hope you find something that resonates.

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@hayleystories

  • This Week I’m Grateful for … Visiting the Theatre in the Middle of a Pandemic

    April 5, 2020 by

    “We could get dressed up, move the sofa, put the light out, grab the opera glasses and Frazzles.” (Our snack cupboard was looking a bit bare.)
    So we did. I in my long pinstripe jacket and bowtie, hair oiled back and moustache drawn on with eyeliner pencil. She in her flapper dress and boa. I have no idea where she found the peacock feather to stick in her hair, but it was a nice touch.

  • Living Truthfully: The Freedom from Fear

    April 2, 2020 by

    It’s almost as if we spend our lives guarding our darkest secrets, shielding ourselves from the gaze of others, but what if these authentic parts are our most beautiful and human?

  • This Week I’m Grateful for … Lamb Bingo

    March 27, 2020 by

    It’s such a small, frivolous thing to be thankful for when the world has been brought to its knees by influenza’s older, demented half-brother, with a chip on his shoulder and daddy issues.

  • Reading ‘Writing Down the Bones’ Twenty Years Later

    March 17, 2020 by

    My God, I was an arrogant writer when I was younger. I knew my work was good, and I reacted to criticism the way flat-earthers respond to the inconvenient truth. I was hot stuff, they were wrong/moronic/picking on me, and the world would have to catch up with my genius sooner or later.

  • This Week I’m Grateful for … Two Walnut Whips in the Library

    March 16, 2020 by

    I recently watched a man drink a whole bottle of salad crème in the library, and there wasn’t a salad leaf in sight. Straight from the bottle. Glug, glug, glug. To me, this epitomises libraries in the twenty-first century: a catch-all for those in freefall from the community services and projects that have been cut by the government, looking for a place to belong or snooze or drink condiments. As a writer, obsessed with people-watching, I love it.

  • The Primal Act of Writing Longhand

    March 13, 2020 by

    Writing truthfully is an act of rebellion. Writing longhand is revelling in the experience. In the absence of cave walls on which to tell our stories, it is the rawest way to express the written word.

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