From fear, born were our voices…

March 2020. I will look back at that month and never forget when the world came apart.At the front end of a deadly pandemic, Covid-19, to date, worldwide, has claimed 535,000 lives, and 11.5 million people have been infected. Amidst unprecedented uncertainty and constant fear, I felt called to help people work through that fear, and importantly, the deep waves of grief. It seemed paramount to make room for the voices of so many who struggled to make sense, let alone meaning, of such tragedy. Factor in quarantine, being alone, isolated, all daily freedoms and ways of being in life, suddenly taken away.

Connecting through words.That’s what I know as a truth.Words shape, unearth, relieve, and heal. So I started a free weekly online writing workshop to guide people through the grief, the pain, the uncertainty, and the anger of where humanity had landed in this unique place and time.

People have all kinds of fears about writing.We’re afraid of our voices, afraid of being wrong, afraid of making mistakes, afraid of not saying enough, afraid of being seen—even to ourselves. I’ve come to intimately understand this fear, as after having recently completed my first book,“Me, My Selfie & Eye” I too struggled if what I had to say was worth anything.

Week after week, brave courageous souls show up for themselves via Zoom to explore the many facets of Eyedentity, grief, and belonging. Some come because they’re interested in writing more often, others want to dip their toe into the writing water, while others aren’t sure what they need, but give me, my class, and writing, a try.Through designated prompts and loving support, I lead, they allow, by spilling out hearts through words.They explore a swath of deep emotion. Every week someone has a tremendous breakthrough or discovery. I am blown away by the talent, quality, and expression that is birthed through our group.

A crucial part of writing is being heard. Being seen. I teach that people need to hear and see their own voices in the world, their words contribute to our human experience and have value—that’s part of the writing process, which ultimately, is a sojourn of Self discovery.

The collection comes from writing produced through guided prompts during our weekly classes. It’s brave, it’s raw, and I can’t thank the members of my group enough for the honor of being your guide.You’ve shown up for your Self! And this has been a beautiful honor to witness! xoxo – Janna Lopez.

PARTICIPANTS SAY: 

“Your invitation and leadership inspire and encourage me to ‘Show up’ for myself and others in our group with the same courage to share their unique writing.”

“I love being part of a group of writers. All of us approach every prompt so differently and by sharing what we’ve written on the same prompt, it opens my eyes and mind to new ways of approaching any challenge you set. I love that.”

“I appreciate the insight you provide, and knowing we all struggle with ‘parade shitting’ no matter what our level, is inspiring. Your encouragement and reminders make you a wonderful teacher.”

“Janna, I enjoy being a part of this amazingly talented group of writers. Your guidance has allowed me to build confidence to share my voice loudly and proudly. I’m learning so much about the difference elements of writing; the power of and, the use of metaphors, and so many other of these tools. It was a combination of things that prompted me to join the group. Probably the main thing was to identify the tools and resources for me to become a (better) writer. The other reason was confirmed when I joined. You were quick to silence the voice of doubt about my abilities as a writer. Though I had blogged prior to being in the group, I never really considered myself a writer. That has also changed and I feel more confident putting myself out there. Thank you.”