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Gateless Writing is a methodology that uses creative brain science, ancient Zen, and highly-effective craft tools + resources to move you beyond the conditioned, critical mind to a place of limitless creative potential beyond.
Through retreats, a leadership training program, our online Writers' Academy and one-on-one intensives, the Gateless methodology has shifted thousands of lives, helped build successful careers, and acted as the catalyst for many new and seasoned writers to generate innovative and domain-changing writing.
Practitioners of this methodology have won some of the industry's most prestigious awards, graced the nation's biggest stages, and appeared in the most influential media outlets but more, they are living lives of creative and intellectual freedom they never knew possible.
"We think there are all these gates keeping us from the speaking gig, the performance stage, the sold-out workshops, the big five publishers--but it's not true, there's another way, and it's Gateless. Gateless is so transforming, so revolutionary."--Karen Kenney, memoirist, spiritual mentor, founder of Quest Yoga and certified Gateless teacher.
The Genesis of Gateless as a Methodology:
In 1993, as a Fulbright Scholarship studying Buddhism and meditation in Sri Lanka, I began researching what the Buddhists call Samadhi, a state of presence beyond the critical, conditioned mind, where the meditator enters their own limitless capacity. In Zen, this is also referred to as Gateless, represented by the symbol of the Enso and referring to the creator leaving their conditioning behind to become one with the artistic process.
Several years later, my first two novels sold to Scribner to high acclaim, were optioned for film, and translated widely abroad. I enrolled in a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and the Literary Arts at Bennington College and had my first bout of writer's block.
The writer's block arrived as I got deeper into the academic discipline of teaching writing, which is based on criticizing and deconstructing the work. The writing is thought of as broken and needing to be "fixed." Some creatives who enrolled in academic artistic programs were said to have foregone natural talent and never wrote/performed/painted/created again. Others described a feeling of fight or flight. Some had the sense that they had to create imitative work to survive. Still others said they were crippled by a belief that the rules were contradictory and they would never "get ahead" in their craft. .
For my senior thesis, I studied the creative process of great literary masters and found that the ones who made a lasting mark in the field and did not engage in the creative u-turn of attrition were in fact working from a space of ultimate freedom, the same place the monks described as Samadhi and ancient Zen referred to as Gateless.
"Suzanne brings the appreciative stance of the Gateless Method to all that she creates. Whether leading a workshop, running a salon, or coaching a dream into being, her years of experience in the writing and publishing world and her tenacity to arrive at your desired results make her the master member you need on your team. But more, she meets all of your hopes and fears with equal measure of respect, clarity, and humor. She believes in you more than your believe in yourself and then helps to take you there."—Jodi Paloni, former K-12 teacher, Gestalt coach, and award-winning writer and Gateless certified teacher.
The Brain Science Behind Gateless:
To understand how this state of limitless creative potential is reached, I began extensive research into creative brain science, particularly a scientific model of neuro-theology developed by Dr. Herzog at Harvard Medical School and Dr. Aquili and Dr. Newberg at Penn.
These researchers found that imagination and creativity are best accessed when we cease activity in the part of the brain associated with negativity and resistance. Researchers Charles Limb and Allen Braun at the National Institute of Health found that masterpieces are created when the area of the brain active during self-censoring is deactivated, inhibitions are shut down, and the region linked with self-expression is active.
Combining this brain science with potent craft tools, eastern philosophy, and industry know-how, I founded Gateless Writing, a model that breaks through creative blocks and provides writers the resources to reach their artistic visions.
"When I came into Gateless I felt stuck in my writing and lost about my next step in building my writing school. Now I feel like a door has opened and I am in the middle of walking through it. I feel grateful for all that I learned and for the chance to reinvigorate my vision for myself as a writer and as teacher ... I love Gateless method because it seems to be about finding what is already there but maybe covered up with fear, or a dizzying sense of I’m not enough. Gateless allows the very best in everyone to come up to the surface and take a turn in the sunshine. You don’t have to become someone else, Gateless is a process of loving what you already are and then stretching from there."--Minton Sparks, award-winning performance artist and Gateless certified teacher.
The Success of Gateless Writing:
Gateless writers have been picked up by top agents, gone to auction with their books, gotten six-figure deals and received national media attention. (See testimonials here.) More importantly, Gateless influences every part of a writer's life. They begin to see how big their power in the world is. The model creates a certain magic, where we bust out of limitations (they aren’t really there), and reach beyond the original vision to create expansive, magnanimous lives that match what we have to offer.
"Suzanne’s Gateless Writing technique has given me the confidence and freedom to create in ways I never imagined. Suzanne never doubted what I could do; she believed in me before I even believed in myself. I’m so incredibly thankful to be a part of her magical world where dreams really do come true."-- Parker Riggs, New Hampshire mystery writer, author of Finding Jessica and co-author of A Treachorous Trader, the fourth book in New York Times bestselling author Ellery James' Collectible Mystery series.
How Gateless Writing Works:
In Gateless we use creative neuroscience to silence the part of the brain associated with internal and external criticism. We move writers to uncover their singular creative genius by utilizing deep Zen inquiry, guided support, and generative feedback along with craft resources and industry-know to create domain-changing work.
Not only has this process created outward success, you become part of a global network of writers, agents, publishers and high achieving leaders in the field of creative expression. The methodology and its community allows you to access a feeling of bliss and flow that is often lost since early years of childhood. For more on how to explore the Gateless model, check out our Retreats, one-on-one session, or become part of our team of teachers by getting certified in the Gateless method in our Gateless Teacher Training Program.
"Playful and gentle, Suzanne produces amazing results. She has the ability to work with motivated writers and bring them to another level in their writing. Her approach differs so tremendously from the writing process taught within a traditional education program and it is clear that it is the manner in which students flourish in creative writing. Beyond her ability to teach writing, Suzanne provides a positive role model to girls and has been a tremendous influence on the lives of children."
~ Lynn Feal Staub, Senior Project Manager
with the Vermont Center for Afterschool Excellence.
Suzanne Kingsbury is the award-winning author of two critically-acclaimed novels, The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me and The Gospel According to Gracey, both published by Scribner, translated widely abroad and optioned for film by Will Akers and Anne Hathaway.
In 2007 after graduating from Bennington College with a Masters of Fine Arts in Literature and Creative Writing, Suzanne founded Gateless Writing, a nationwide organization based on creative brain science and ancient Zen that supports writers to the point of publication and beyond.
Through salon-style retreats and workshops, one-on-one intensives and career training programs, Suzanne has helped countless writers on their path to signing with top agents, getting acquired by the NY houses, hitting bestseller lists and winning prestigious literary awards. Her secret sauce is her intuitive "channeling" which divines what the work needs and the highest vision of where the writer can go. In honing these abilities she has trained with Kristen Carmichael and Michael Harmon's School of Shamanic Studies. She is also trained in Thai Head Massage and Reiki.
Suzanne is the recipient of a Fulbright Award, an Oxford Town Fiction Award and her work has been reviewed or appeared in Glamour magazine, O magazine, Culture Fly, Buzz Feed, the LA Times, the Huffington Post, People Magazine, The Rolling Stone (European edition) and many other publications.
In her previous life, Suzanne worked at the School for International Training with language and cultural immersion programs in Africa and Asia. She is a certified Laban Technique dance teacher and has choreographed for the Bread and Puppet Theater and worked in Jacques D’Ambois' National Dance Institute in Soho. Today she lives on the shore of southern Connecticut and at work on The Gateless Writer, a seminal book about the creative process.