Friday Dispatch: Getting Words on the Page is "a framework for exploration and risk"
I'm no stranger to perfectionism – which is why I created this eCourse!
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I want to tell you a little about my personal experience of creating Getting Words on the Page, and also share some words from folks who’ve already completed completed the course and seen its positive impact on their writing practice.
Always good to start with the truth, which is this:
At first I was intimidated.
Here I was, having written literally hundreds of writing prompts, imagined, created, and facilitated all kinds of online groups, and led workshops and retreats…
“The course is truly beautiful. Jena creates a safe space to write without judgement, fear or need for perfection. What I loved most about this course is its loving and encouraging tone. It is created in a way that even a person who has never written before can start writing with this course for it feels like an invitation, filled with possibilities. It is like a gentle nudge for those who write but going through a dry spell. If one is dealing with challenges as I am right now, it allowed me to work through the thoughts that were on a loop in my head and couldn't make them stop. Putting it on paper, gave me the ‘quiet’ I so desperately needed.”
But when I received a digital grant and realized I’d get to work with an actual instructional designer, I was more intimidated than excited.
Various “what ifs” filled my thoughts, most of them fear-based.
“I love how the course provides the framework for exploration and risk, but in a comfortable, low-risk way.”
As soon as I shifted my thoughts to the people who I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years as a promptress and coach, the strong roots of my work in the world, and how much I believe in the power of freeing up our words, I recognized what was really prowling around.
Can you guess what it was?
If you guessed perfectionism… ding-ding-ding.
“I loved everything about this course!”
I recognized perfectionism as the same part of me that quit cello lessons after just a few months when I was a teenager, because I was playing Mississippi Hot Dog and not Vivaldi.
The same part of me that could find every possible flaw, rather than celebrating the courage it takes to try something new.
The part of me that would rather stay safe than risk failure.
“The inner critic work was very impactful, so simple but so powerful. I have done a lot of inner-critic work in the past that did not stick. This will stay with me.”
Of course, I knew better. We usually do!
So I was gentle with myself — but also firm. As my meetings with Jane Wilde, instructional designer extraordinaire, progressed and the course began to take shape, I could feel myself relaxing into it.
I started having… fun :)
“Some of the things I learned in this course were game-changers for my writing.”
I realized that it would never be perfect, and if I let that keep me from forging ahead, I would miss out on this wonderful chance to put these ideas and practices out into the world in a way that could potentially reach so many more people.
“Everything that makes Jena a powerful and transformational writing coach is embedded in this eCourse.”
I’ve been teaching what I have to learn for a long time now; it’s the basis for everything you’ll find in Getting Words on the Page.
So when I tell you you don’t have to be perfect, when I say your writing can suck and still “count,” when I encourage you to keep going without expectations of greatness, when I offer suggestions for how to relate to your inner critic in news ways, all of it is coming from my own experiences with the ebbs and flows and peaks and valleys of creative practice.
“This course gave me gentle permission to practice writing without needing to prove or produce anything special.”
You have until August 31 to use the CREATIVESUMMER coupon code, which will take 50% off the regular price of the course.
This means you save $125 when you enroll soon.
Thank you to everyone who has enrolled in the eCourse so far, and for sharing how it has changed, strengthened, and expanded your writing practice!
I can’t wait to hear from more of you.
To see the unabashedly dorky happy dance I do every time someone signs up for the course, click here :)
Shabbat shalom and love,
"Getting Words on the Page is such a heartwarming, beautiful course! It gave me permission to practice without needing to prove or produce—and if that sounds like too many Ps, there’s a story here—take the course to find out what!:) Full of poignant anecdotes from Jena’s life and heart and her irresistible, fun prompts, there's something steady, unconditional and trustworthy about the space created by Jena—something very reassuring about the very helpful reminder to be good to oneself and keep going. It gave me practices I can keep coming back to and leaning into, and it really did help me make a friend of the empty page. I wholeheartedly recommend it!"