ARE YOU LISTENING?: How To Build Your Life Around Your Creative Calling


How To Build Your Life
Around Your Creative Calling

Photo by Edgar Valdes (

If you’re like most women, you struggle with
prioritizing your creative work.


You have too much unstructured time, or too little. You have children at home or are responsible for aging parents, or both. Your friends want you to join the boards of their pet organizations. Every day new obstacles arise. Your husband starts hanging around the house in the mornings; your kids get the flu; the refrigerator dies.


Time management is only half the equation. The bigger challenge lies in setting priorities, in understanding this:




It’s God or the Universe knocking at your door. That opening sentence of a novel that came to you on your morning walk, or that new course you’ve been thinking about for stage actors, might be calling you toward your true purpose, the reason you are here on this earth.


When you see your creative work as calling, it becomes your highest responsibility. The whole world actually does depend on you sitting down at the page or getting to the studio.


Once that’s established, you can get down to the work of making your days and caring for your greatest asset, your own body and mind.


On Saturday, May 23rd, we’re calling a day of listening, a day of retreat, reflection, and real planning for women in the arts.


  • Space for listening to what’s calling us in the pages of our journals.
  • Space to ask what we need to support our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.
  • A plan to get it all on the calendar.
  • Followed by four weeks of accountability and support by e-mail.


Spend the morning with Saundra Goldman as she leads you from meditation and writing practice to the pragmatics of structuring your days and weeks.


Enjoy lunch on the grounds of the Writing Barn, surrounded by live oaks and bird song. Read a book in a hammock, nap in the loft. Spend time in silence and solitude.


In the afternoon, let our guest instructor, Carolyn Scarborough, counsel you in self-care for the creative soul, and teach you the fine art of listening for your in needs in this moment.



This retreat is ideal for women artists in all media. Give yourself the gift of time away from your roles and responsibilities. Take the opportunity to reflect on the higher purpose of your work, to listen for what’s next, and to learn to make time and space for what calls. If you have children, make it a Mother’s Day gift for yourself. Bring a friend and make a pact to get your most important work accomplished.


Date: Saturday, May 23, 9:30 – 4:30


What’s Included:

  • Box lunch, perfect for a picnic on the grounds.
  • Coffee and tea throughout the day.
  • A step-by-step process for structuring your days and weeks, including complimentary copy of The Week Dominator.
  • Sessions with experienced instructors, Saundra Goldman and Carolyn Scarborough.
  • A community of like-minded women. A circle of support and sharing.
  • Plenty of chocolate.


About the Location:

The Writing Barn is situated on 7.5 wooded acres in South Austin, a peaceful out-of-town environment within city limits. Inside the Barn, you’ll find floor to ceiling bookshelves. Outside, a screened-in porch, hammocks, and plenty of tucked-away spots to think and dream.


Early Bird Registration through May 17th: $187. To ensure your spot, register today. Gift certificates available. (You can hint now for Mother’s Day.) Registration fee goes up after the 17th.


Overnight Accommodations: If you’re interested in extending the peace of the day, the Writing Barn is opening The Book House for 5 participants, each with a private room and private bath, to retreat in before and after the event. Book House rooms for this weekend are $75 a night. The cozy Cabin is also available for $150 a night. Check out time is Sunday at noon. To book a room, contact the Writing Barn directly (


People actually feel the happiest and most fulfilled when meeting the challenge of their dharma in the world, when bringing highly concentrated effort to some compelling activity for which they have a true calling.

— Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life




When: Saturday, May 23, 9:30 – 4:30
Where: The Writing Barn in South Austin
Cost: $187 (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL, ENDS 5/17) includes lunch, all the coffee you can
drink, sinful snacks, and course materials




Saundra on Sally's couchSaundra Goldman a writer, an art historian, and ethnographer, searching for patterns in artist’s lives and creative work. She is a curator of art and ideas, a mentor, and a teacher. Through her website and blog, my courses, and one-on-one mentoring, she helps women connect the dots of their creative lives and step up with work that speaks to their deepest calling. Saundra’s essay, stories, articles, and reviews have appeared in, Brain Child, Austin Woman, and the Austin American-Stateman. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.

Carolyn headshot

Carolyn Scarborough is a coach, author and mentor, clearing the path back to your creative core and what matters most. Through deep, intuitive listening, she dissolves blocks and reconnects people to their authentic voice and purpose. Carolyn is the author of Backyard Pearls: Cultivating Wisdom and Joy in Everyday Life, and has published more than 500 articles in publications around the world. She leads writing and women’s retreats, as well as teleclasses and individual coaching. Find out more about Carolyn at