Alumni Spotlight: Sara Pyszka

Sara Pyszka is a Bethel grad and the author of the

www.sarapyszka.com

Sara Pyszka is a Bethel grad and the author of the "Just Be" series.

Julia Mascaro, Features Editor

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Sara Pyszka is an author, public speaker, and a lyricist with cerebral palsy, but that doesn’t stop her from accomplishing her goals. People contradict Pyszka assuming her story ends there, but she determinedly says, “If a story has a beginning, it must go on!”

Pyszka graduated from Bethel Park in 2005. She then attended Wright University in Ohio and earned a degree in Rehabilitation Services. Pyszka, author of “Just Be” series which includes “Dancing Daisies” and “Switch the Song,” started writing as a teenager; her stories were just written as lyrics back then. She attended the “Notes from the Heart” music camp in Wexford where she programmed the National Anthem in her DynaVox and wrote some original songs with Lucas Richman. Because of that camp, there were many opportunities to come for Pyszka. She was the first person with an augmentative communication device to sing for two MLB teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cleveland Indians!

Here you can check out her website full of knowledge and power in the eyes of Sara Pyszka: https://www.sarapyszka.com/about.html

 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

One night I was out to eat with my friend and my personal assistant. This guy came up to my assistant who was helping me eat, handed her $20, and said, “thank you for doing this, I really appreciate what you are doing.” Now, I totally understand he was just being nice and was not trying to be offensive, but I had to fight so hard not to break down crying in the middle of the restaurant. To me, it was like him saying he didn’t know why anyone would want to be with me or help me eat. That was the night that made me realize I had to do something to try to change people’s attitudes towards people with disabilities.

I also feel like writing is the only thing I can do 110% by myself. When I write, every word, and every paragraph, and every sentence comes directly out of my mind, so whenever someone tells me they like something that I wrote, it’s the best compliment they could give me. Since I need so much help with everything else in my life, writing gives me a break from relying on other people.

Where do you get your inspiration from when writing?

Usually, I get my inspiration when I think a lot of people don’t understand something. For example, a lot of people don’t think people with disabilities can have a relationship, so I made my character have this awesome relationship with this awesome guy. Some people think my disability is my only problem. Which is not true. So I made my character have a major problem with her friends, and really tried to focus on that more than her disability.

What have you learned from your writing/books that changed who you are?

I learned that nothing else in the world makes me happier than writing. I learned that I absolutely love helping people through my writing. And I learned that when I’m in a bad mood, writing makes everything better!

What makes a good story?

Anything that YOU can relate to

Do you have any advice for people who want to be an author, or just writing in general?

Finish what you start. When you finish something, you feel totally, totally amazing!

What do you do to get prepared for writing a book? (Ex: Working in a quiet space, candles, etc.?)

I have to get started as soon as I’m ready for the day. If I do anything beforehand, I feel like I don’t have any energy for writing. And even though I absolutely love music, I can’t have it on. I need quiet.

What qualities do you think an author must have?

An amazing imagination and the ability to finish something.

Where can readers purchase your books?

Amazon and Audible!

Are you working on a new book? If so, what can you tell us about it?

I’m working on a memoir! I’m so excited about it! I feel like a lot of people don’t understand my life so I’m showing them how I think! Follow me on social media for updates!

If you still public speak, when and where do you do this?

I don’t really speak as much because I feel like I can tell more with a book.

 

Fun Facts 🙂

Favorite author(s): Colleen Hoover and Jodi Picoult

Favorite book: “Maybe Someday” by Colleen Hoover

Favorite book as a kid: “The Baby-Sitters Club”

What do you do when you aren’t writing: Listen to music and books and watch Netflix

Favorite movie(s): “Easy A” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”

What is a book that is better than the movie? And what movie is better than the book? A better book is “A Walk to Remember” and a better movie is “The Hunger Games.”

 

Sara is more than just an author, she is an amazing human being with an incredible heart and creative mind. If you need inspiration for anything, just look up to her!

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