Writing Our Eras

A 3-Week  Online Workshop for Midlife Women

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Non-writers and non-Swifties welcome.

 

No prior knowledge of Taylor Swift or her music is needed to join us for this four-week experience.

Whether or not you’re a “Swiftie,” or even Swift-curious, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift is rewriting the narrative on the value and power of women telling their stories. She has built an empire on sharing her personal experiences, and even using fictional stories to convey raw feelings through her song lyrics. And in so doing, she has given permission to a generation of women: tell your stories, celebrate who you are, and never be afraid to reinvent yourself.

Write about the eras of your life

Join a three-week community of other midlife women.

For writers, non-writers, creative women, journal writers, Swifties, non-Swifties, artists, and every woman looking to make sense of her experience.

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INTRODUCING...

WRITING OUR ERAS: A Workshop for Midlife Women

July 10 - July 31, 2024

HERE'S HOW THE WORKSHOP WILL WORK:

You'll hear from us three times each week (Wednesday, Friday, and Monday). Each time we'll send you:

  • A lesson on the theme for the week
  • A small playlist of songs
  • A writing prompt based on the theme and songs

Our discussions and writing will be posted in our own private community forum. There, you'll also receive encouragement, support, and feedback on your writing from the instructors and other participants.

We will have "pop up," optional Zoom meetings throughout the workshop. When you sign up for the workshop, we'll ask you for times that work best for you. 

The (OPTIONAL!) Zoom meetings will be a mix of co-writing, discussion, and dance parties and singalong sessions.

INTRODUCTION

Get acquainted with the workshop and our community. Introduce yourself and connect with all of us.

"I love you. It's ruining my life."

First, we'll explore the theme of "denial," or times in our lives, in Swift's words, we "got caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a bit of delusion."

"You don't get to tell me about sad songs" 

Next we'll explore the theme of "anger" and how feelings of anger and betrayal have manifested themselves in different eras in our lives.

"Am I allowed to cry?" 

The next theme is about exploring "bargaining" or, as Swift explains, "times when you're trying to make deals with yourself or someone that you care about, you're trying to make things better, you're oftentimes feeling really desperate, because oftentimes we have a gut intuition that tells us things are not going to go the way that we hope, which makes us more desperate, which makes us bargain more."

"Old habits die screaming" 

Then we'll explore times in our life when we've confronted feelings of intense loss and loneliness, hopelessness, or depression, when "things are feeling really, really hard to go through," according to Swift.

"I can do it with a broken heart" 

Finally, we'll reach the last theme, when we'll sort through our feelings of "acceptance" at different parts of our lives, when we learn to begin "making room for more good in your life, making that choice because a lot of time when we lose things, we gain things too," as Swift describes.

WHY THE FIVE STAGES?

 

Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album, "The Tortured Poets Department," on April 19th.

Before the release of that album, Swift gave us five new playlists of her previous songs. The playlists encompass the five stages of grief and heartbreak: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

As we listen to the new album and reflect on her previous songs, we couldn't stop thinking about these emotions that so many of us have gone through in processing the stages of our lives. And how these stages could be the perfect framework for an experience with midlife women for more reflection, more digging, more understanding, and more connection.

From childhood to adolescence all the way through midlife, we have all experienced denial, bargaining, anger (oh, so much anger), depression, and acceptance. Midlife becomes an integration receptacle where we hope to finally reach acceptance, whether that looks like integrating the past incarnations of ourselves, making peace with things or people we regret, or coming to terms with endings and boldly seeking new beginnings. 

 

We are Jessica and Stephanie of The HerStories Project.

Jessica Smock, Ed.D. and Stephanie Sprenger are the co-founders of the HerStories Project and co-editors of Midstory Magazine on Substack. We've published five essay collections by and for midlife women's experiences on topics such as the pandemic, friendship, motherhood, and mental health.

For the past decade, we've taught writing and led writing groups for hundreds of women online.

Yes, we are both Swifties. (One of us is a bit newer than the other.)

"Maybe this is the real Taylor Swift effect: That she gives people, many of them women, particularly girls, who have been conditioned to accept dismissal, gaslighting, and mistreatment from a society that treats their emotions as inconsequential, permission to believe that their interior lives matter. That for your heart to break, whether it’s from being kicked off a tour or by the memory of a scarf still sitting in a drawer somewhere or because somebody else controls your life’s work, is a valid wound, and no, you’re not crazy for being upset about it, or for wanting your story to be told."

 
Time Magazine

"Maybe that’s what Eras really is: the acknowledgment of girls as people to memorialize, of who we are and who we were, all existing in the same body, on the same timeline. You are your sluttiest version, your silliest version, your most wholesome, your smartest, your dumbest, your saddest, your happiest — all at once.”"

 
New York Times 

Write about your eras with us.

July 10 - July 31, 2024

ONE PAYMENT

$87

eighty-seven dollars

  • Access to our private forum
  • 3 weeks of prompts, lessons, and discussions
  • Weekly Zoom meetings
  • Get feedback about your writing from the instructors and participants
JOIN NOW

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I SIGN UP?

When you sign up, right away you'll be asked to answer a few questions about your schedule to help us plan our Zoom meetings.

On May 29th, we'll send out the first "lessons," playlist, and prompts, and our workshop will officially begin!

IS THIS WORKSHOP RIGHT FOR YOU?

 

We hope so! Are you having some doubts?

 

 

7-DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE

If you aren’t completely satisfied, let us know within the first 7-days for a full refund. No questions asked.

Join the Workshop

"I loved this workshop. Reading the other women's work has been powerful and inspiring, and tapping into some of my own stories that I didn't know were laying around, waiting to be seen and told, has been cathartic and refreshing. The process was so intentionally developed and skillfully led. And receiving such supportive and kind feedback on my writing was some much needed encouragement to keep going, and keep writing." - Writing Our Eras participant (April)

 

"As someone who is very new to sharing my writing, I was looking for a supportive and fun environment that still offered a challenge. I'm not really a Swiftie, but I loved the way the songs and lyrics were woven into the prompts, and I found myself looking forward to letting my brain percolate and seeing what came up. It definitely brought up some stuff that was good material for exploration! I appreciated the positive feedback from the group members, and really loved getting to read their writing." - Writing Our Eras participant (April)