Thank you Janna for the invitation to show up for myself and for others as you provide the most creative and compassionate environment to help me expand my mind and heart to my imagination and voice. I’m so honored you accepted me as a private student. With gratitude for the opening of a door I was scared for years to open because of my own inner critical critic. Now I feel free to explore all my thoughts and transcribe them on to “paper” as a record of my journey and my growth. Thank you 🙏
I attended the Land of Enchantment Writing retreat in August with an idea for a book, an outline for chapter names, a couple of chapters fully written, and even an idea for an ending. I left with all of that blown out of the water and for the best reasons. I went into the retreat thinking I’d work on my sentence structure, get some feedback from a seasoned and excellent writer (Janna) and meet some new people in a beautiful setting. Most of that happened, and then so much more. I can’t possibly describe the experience because it was almost spiritual for me. I found myself crying while watching a sunset after a writing prompt on the first evening, which caught me completely off guard. After so many years of writing professionally and losing my creative way, looking back on that moment now I see it was my old self opening up a creative box I had shut tight and locked away. Janna found a key I had thrown away long ago with a simple task to watch a sunset and write about it. A flood of memories came rushing in, remembering how I used to sit in my room for hours writing as a child, and I found my love for writing again. I found my flow with my words, my soul felt lighter, and everything became clear. I know I wasn’t alone in this feeling because when I looked around, everyone had tears on their cheeks. And I knew it was going to be a special weekend. (Spoiler alert: It was.)
Whether you are a seasoned writer with years of experience, or someone who is just beginning to explore writing, I highly recommend this retreat.
Janna creates an atmosphere of safety and support.
I could not help but notice her gift for encouraging us by noticing each of our individual strengths, while simultaneously inviting each of us out of our comfort zones to expand our concept of what it means to write.
Santa Fe felt like a magical place to find inspiration. Escaping the Oregon rain for some reflection, creative exploration, clarity and motivation for writing my book, was exactly what I needed.
I’ve always had the highest respect for Janna as an editor/publisher/writer/professional. What I didn’t know was just how much I would come to respect her as a pure artist and fearless spiritual visionary. Her words are truly inspirational and I highly recommend her to anyone facing or exploring trauma.
I could not recommend Janna’s weekend writing retreat enough to anyone ready to dive deep and connect to themselves, to other writers, and to their creativity. She carefully curates each group and the bonding among participants inspires breakthroughs, significant up-leveling, and shatters limitations. Janna’s tenacious dedication to serving each participant is infectious and made me feel so seen, cared for, and supported. The book I’d planned to work on when going into the weekend transformed dramatically into something else entirely- something more freeing, exciting, and motivating. I left with more confidence and far less fear and anxiety. If you’re considering signing up for one–Take the leap- you won’t regret it!
I was drawn to Janna Lopez after reading about her online, through BookBaby. In particular, her unconventional approach to writing and what I view as a writing style infused and informed by the spiritual aspect of being human. Janna’s approach resonated with my own sense of being and led me to attend the most recent three-day creative writing retreat that she hosted in Santa Fe, from November 5-7.
I found the retreat to be instantaneously transformational, captivating, and yet liberating. Transformational in that Janna’s “prompt” approach propels you not only to think fast on your feet, but also to think outside your box. Captivating as we listened to each others’ responses to the prompts. And liberating because there was no right or wrong way of answering the prompt. To me, this approach ushers in a new way of thinking, dispelled any fears I may have held and liberated me to think, feel, write, and connect to the “Word” in an authentic manner, no matter the subject.
Janna’s capacity and ability to listen with an intention to acknowledge and “salute” everyone’s individuality and sense of their whole being within the group was remarkable. Her spirit radiated energy that everyone’s story matters and everyone’s story is important. This approach put everyone in the group at ease and helped allow the individual talent to flow freely. The synergy and camaraderie that emerged from the retreat was incredible… a community for sisterhood and friendship was created. By the third day, the pace and quality of my writing skill “upon prompt” was impressive and provided me with not only a strong sense of accomplishment but also self-belief that I can write and that I can write well and without fear.
Janna is, among others, a teacher, a writer, a couch, a mentor, and an inspiration to some of us who are timid and living in fear of being judged. The retreat has shifted my writing trajectory from fear of writing to celebrating, through writing stories, fiction or nonfiction, and putting on paper ideas about cooking, eating and culture. There are numerous lessons that I draw from the writing retreat with Janna. One of the most important ones is not to doubt myself, my thoughts or ideas that flow within me. Instead, embrace them, nurture them, acknowledge them. And as I write, I should write with my whole- being, write with all the five senses without judgement, be in the present moment while connected to my spiritual self. In summary, Janna challenged me to awaken to my uniqueness, encouraged me to show up, to self-trust, recognize and own my talent.
I was drawn to Janna after attending her online writing class. I thought I was going to learn about how to be able to write. I wanted to write a book or memoir but did not feel the confidence that I could. What I found was totally unexpected. There was something in the way she talked about using writing to have a deeper conversation with yourself; that set off a spark in me. She talked of approaching it as having a conversation with yourself. The more I begin to really understand that it really is one continual conversation with myself, the freer I become. These conversations have led me into places of freedom unknown.
Janna has helped me to see that by showing up for myself, the words that are needed to have the conversation will find you. What she does, is teaches you how to look at your writings as a continual conversation with yourself, where every and all things are on the table. To look at the words that come as part of the conversation; one where you never know what you might find except it will be what you need in your life that moment in time.
I learned that by showing up for yourself you will see what you need, through the words that come for you to write. Sometimes they may reveal pain buried deep, dreams long forgotten, or purpose laid aside. You sometimes don’t know but when you sit down to write out the conversation, it can all be clear. I was able to uncover aspects of my life that I was disconnected from, get freedom from inner struggles that I didn’t realize were contributing to my being stuck. I am experiencing a level of inner freedom that has helped me to believe in myself more.
By learning not to judge the words that come during my conversations with myself. I am learning to let go of self judgement. I guess what I would say is that the work Janna does is not just about writing, but a revolutionary way of allowing the process of you finding and seeing your unique life continuum through the process of writing and trusting that the words that come are the revelation.
With uncertainty in my ability to write a book, let alone even believe in my writing skills, I braved through with determination to attend Janna’s writing retreat. Janna’s teaching style helped me dive into my soul and put words to paper that I never thought possible. If you are at all uncertain, brave through and attend one of her retreats. You will love the experience and won’t regret attending.
Your book, “Me, My Selfie & Eye,” is not just a book for women. As a man, I appreciated the honesty and insights revealed in this highly-readable memoir by Janna Lopez. By speaking the truth about herself, she is a teacher helping all of us pursue a sense of understanding on this journey we call living.
Janna’s retreat is truly in the Land of Enchantment, from beautiful Santa Fe to a transformative experience. With Janna’s unique and refreshing teaching style, she invites us to cultivate a deeper connection to our words which has long lasting effects on our writing, no matter genre or style. Her deep commitment and caring for her students and their growth shines through all that she does. I am immensely grateful for attending one of her retreats and look forward to exploring new ways to connect to my writing. Invest in yourself, you won’t regret it.
Janna’s writing course is the perfect environment for me to grow as a writer and a person. Writing in short spurts in response to the writing prompts she give us is exhilarating. I have been a writer for more than 40 years. Yet no other course or workshops has allowed me to dig as deeply and express so clearly as this class. More than that, as a result of several of the classes, I have been able to have breakthroughs with myself and members of my family. My writing and my life have been enriched.
Harrowing and beautiful, Lopez’s unflinching exploration of what it means to be a woman coming to terms with herself in midlife is a chaotic, glorious enchantment.
I have never previously taken a creative writing course and doing the workshop with Janna the has been a new and freeing experience. Her process of offering prompts for us to respond to offers an opening to untold thoughts. Remembrances often float up in unique and creative response. I recommend her workshops to anyone who wants to gain a conduit to their inner world and an opportunity to attempt a new creative outlet. Janna is very supportive and gives immediate feedback and encouragement.
Your book, by the way—although not by the way, since it is absolutely crucial to everything I’m talking about—is unlike any book I’ve read. It is profoundly honest, generous in its honesty, and completely singular in its approach—in your approach—to self-expression and self-investigation. It exists, consciously or not, within a long tradition of autobiographical and metaphysical books of prose, but still manages to be new, which is an enormous accomplishment.
Janna has been such an inspiration for me. I had a personal tragedy about 9 months ago and a friend invited me to Janna’s workshop about two months ago. I was very nervous and unsure what to expect, but my new life mantra has been to say ‘yes’ to opportunities. Janna has encourage each one of us to speak our voice and embrace where the writing takes us, there is no right or wrong. I find the variety of prompts is helpful in exploring different feelings, thoughts, and emotions and it keeps the class exciting as you never know how the evening’s workshop will evolve. I look forward to the weekly writing workshop as the 2 hours each week where I am doing something just for me. I share my writing within an environment of care, encouragement, and support all under Janna’s guided coaching. Janna will kindly not let you second guess or dump on your own writing. She provides ‘pro-tips’ each weeks to help us to overcome common writing challenges. Janna has created an environment where whoever shows up each week is valued and appreciated and she has provided a setting where deeply personal experiences and thoughts have been shared with the group.
I was at a book club this week and just finished reading your book. I want to thank you again for how much of an impact your book has made for me. I retired from a corporate career and what I’ve been dealing with parallels your story. It helped to get words around what I’ve been feeling, so much about loss and grief. Recognizing it for what it is. I’m a photographer and have recently found so much joy in photographing flowers, much like you discovered with hummingbirds. I added my name to your newsletter list so I’ll be interested in your speaking engagements. Thank you again, it’s really made a difference!
Janna Lopez the way you facilitate is remarkable! Thanks for creating such a free spirited atmosphere!
Janna, tonight was exactly perfectly what I needed. So many pearls of wisdom. I’m still processing it all in a good way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’ve been on the back burner of making myself a priority for so long. Thank you for giving me permission to write something that is just for myself. I think that’s been a big part of what’s been holding me back-the fear of people reading my writings. Knowing I can and should do it just for myself is so liberating. Thank you again. It was an amazing experience for me.
That my journey through the darkness was actually a fundamental part of acquiring wisdom and not punishment for some cosmic errors in my young life. And I turned the last page knowing that I am lovable as flawed as I am. Thank You!
There’s no one who can say things like you. I mean there are people saying maybe your words but the fakery is seeping through right away, like most therapists actually and that’s the best it gets. I have a decade of years on you. Years, not maturity, btw, I see words getting more transparent with every year to the point of almost unbearably pathetic – you’ll see, lol – so when a person comes around with words like yours, it’s so … wow!. That’s the only word I can use for it. It’s a dumb word. But it’s fg true!
I pretty much connected with all of your book. You have definitely struck a chord, and one that I feel will resonate widely. It’s difficult for westerners to grasp the observer and the observed, I think you do that astoundingly well. The description of inertia and the loss of identity, and how that’s different from depression…. Amazing. Your take on expectations is brilliant. I appreciate reading something that actually speaks to what I’m going through in a way that is both firm and avoids shaming. It’s interesting how it immediately imparts hope and meaning. I think that I have been going through this for several years. But since there is no name for the “it” the overwhelming tendency is to blame self. The inertia, feeling crazy, etc. All of that you got frightfully well. Your connection encouraged a freedom, a letting go, a way to say “fuck it” that is actually invigorating. Validating.”
I wanted to let you know that as I prepare to say, “Goodbye” to my son as he leaves for Portland, your classes had an impact on my communicating freely. As I made notes during our classes, I expanded my vocabulary due to the amazing writers in the group and your prompts. And without fear, I expressed myself in card I bought for him several years ago, and saved for the right time. So, sending a very verbose thank you.
This is the story of a woman in midlife watching her foundation crumble, imploding her self identity. The reader is allowed a front row seat into the depths of the struggle through her dark flight of the self to find place and inner peace. It’s an intimate, heart wrenching, sometimes lonely and often humorous journey. Her honesty opens the door for all of us to examine our own personal journey, purpose and self worth through the messy, magical rollercoaster of life.
I just wanted to say thank you for offering your classes. I’ve been trying to do more things that I wouldn’t normally do after the chaos of this past year and start trying new things. This class has been something I’ve really enjoyed doing. It has helped me practice my writing more regularly and I always feel happier and more enlightened after each class – thanks again!
Me, My Selfie & Eye was refreshing, touching, heartfelt, blunt, creative, educational, clever, raw, artfully written, honest, sad, devastating, funny, hopeful, helpful, shocking, more! Your journey made my journey feel more “okay” and some of the similarities gave me a sense of relief and peace in knowing that someone else just said these things out loud! Thank you for allowing us to be eyewitnesses to your sharing of your truth, which in my case reflects as familiarity and an awareness of part of mine. Self discovery, lack of self, dealing with disillusionment, disappointment, seeking and finding awareness, growth, change, relationships and journey into and out of the ‘dark flight of the self’ are all things that many of us have had to deal with or are still dealing with at some level, but perhaps haven’t wanted to openly identify as part of a phase. Your book brings it forward, calls it what it is and extends a hand to hold while walking through the fog! Thanks again❤️
I cannot emphasize enough what a magical experience this was. I’ve dabbled in writing since I can remember and have always felt so confused and unsure. Other workshops or writing groups I’ve been involved in just didn’t quite get to the source of the issue. In mere moments working with Janna, I felt a freedom I have never felt before. I feel endless possibilities unfold before, behind, and all around me. If you have any inkling that working with Janna might be for you. Take the leap. You’ll land in a space vast and nurturing and home. P.S. I’m registering for her retreat in March as soon as I’m finished writing this review. Working with her is beyond worth every penny!
I really enjoy your writing sessions and I’m discovering new ways to see things. Last night’s meeting in particular had my creativity sparked in such a way that I wanted to continue writing into the night but I knew I needed to get to bed. I did, however, jot some ideas down to ignite my memory for a later time before winding down.
Janna’s writing classes have helped me write more creatively with her variety of writing prompts and her support. I always feel good and more creative after one of Janna’s classes! Keep them going!
teen student testimonials
Not too long ago I went to a writing virtual career event in which Janna was the speaker, and we got to hear about her experience as an author. She asked us to show some of our writing and just from that singular event, she decided to host an out of school class for students who wanted to practice their writing skills. Naturally, I was surprised, since this isn’t a small offer. Ms. Lopez was willing to take time out of her week to help some random high school kids who love writing, and it really shows how passionate she is about this subject and working with us.
I’ve honestly learned a lot from her through these classes and it is amazing to hear her perspective on things, while she also encourages us to form our own thoughts and perspectives. She likes to really get into subjects and encourage deep thinking, which really helps inspire me, and the other students as well. We’ve focused on a lot of different forms of writing too, from poetry to fictional writing, to just forming descriptions. I could keep going, but I will end with: I am always astounded by her love for writing, and reading as well, and just her ability to work with and spend time with her students. She takes the time to read our work and give us feedback, which I really appreciate, and she really works to try to encourage us to build our confidence, since that is an important component of being a writer. I have definitely benefited from her teaching, and I know that other students will too.
I’ve been taking weekly writing classes from Janna for a few months now, and the growth that I’ve felt both in my writing skills and my confidence in sharing them has been amazing. These writing classes have become the highlight of my week, and I have learned so much from them. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone, stretched in new ways, and found new things I enjoy that I didn’t think I’d like.
Over these months, I’ve found Janna’s teaching style super beneficial and different from most other writing classes and camps that I have taken. Rather than focusing on the technicals of writing and working within confinements like I often have before, we’ve been working with a lot of prompts, where I’m free to write in the way that I want to. Some of the prompts push me to think about something in a different way, or to write in a style that I have never tried before. I’ve learned to express myself in new ways through my writing, but I also have had a lot of freedom within that
Something I’ve really loved throughout these classes is the way in which I have been able to interact with the other students and with Janna. Typically, I like to keep my writing to myself, but we’ve been sharing our work with each other, reading our own work out loud, and reading others’ work out loud, and it has worked wonders on my confidence. Going into the writing class, I only knew one of the other students. By now, I still don’t know them very well, but I feel like I have been getting to know them and their talents better every week. As we share feedback on each other’s work and read things together, I find myself wanting to know the other students better outside of the writing class as well, rather than simply being there for my own writing skills and keeping to myself, as I often do in other writing classes. I have come to feel comfortable with the group in a way that allows me to be open and expressive in my writing.
Another thing I love is that Janna often shares her own work, which is super amazing to read and a good opportunity to see examples of what we’re being taught. Typically a writing teacher seems so high on a pedestal to me, but being able to talk with Janna and read her work makes it really easy to connect with her in a way that I can’t often connect with teachers.
Overall, Janna’s classes have been outstanding. Her teaching style is unique and engaging, and creates an environment in which I can make connections with others, comfortably share my work, and stretch myself like I couldn’t do anywhere else.
Janna’s writing classes are amazing. She creates an inclusive, inspiring, and engaging environment. Her classes spark creativity and help me immensely with my writing. Janna’s teaching style is very supportive and encouraging. She helped me realize that my writing is for me, and I should not write for others. This made me more confident in what I write.
Janna’s classes made me go out of my comfort zone. I tried out more things in my writing, expanding my horizon. I think this has improved my writing. Her feedback is very in-depth. She puts so much work into helping people improve their writing. Janna is very passionate about teaching. I can tell she genuinely cares about helping and teaching others how to write. You are the best writing teacher I have ever had.
I had the opportunity to meet Janna at a writing career event through my school and now I’m lucky enough to attend a small writing workshop class that she teaches on Wednesdays.
I’ve only been working with her for a couple of months, but it has been an amazing few months. Her class creates a very supportive and inspirational environment that facilitates not only the creativity it takes to write but also one that builds confidence in one’s voice. She preaches showing up for yourself, and when working with her, you keep wanting to show up and push yourself to continue to write.
Her teaching style is somewhat casual, but it works for the material and helps ease her students into comfortably, and gives them the ability to open up and be more truthful when writing. She works on a spiritual basis, focusing not only on improving and building comfortability with various writing styles but also on self-discovery within writing, which I think is terrific. When I started showing up to her class, it gave me a reason to write, gave me some positivity during the pandemic, and gave me a broader community to express myself and my words. Janna gives positive feedback and, through small prompts, helps me discover my writing strengths and how to use my writing advantages in new ways.
So far, I’ve learned a lot about my style and gained more confidence in my voice. It’s an ongoing process, but before this class, I’d never read my writing to anyone outside my family and now I regularly share with Janna and the other members of our class and get feedback. Janna facilities an environment where you can begin to grow self-confidence and start making time for yourself amid busy workweeks and life in general. I’ve learned my strengths, questioning, and imagery, and by her creativity and prompts, I’m able to explore that. We’ve also done some poetry writing and currently we are exploring different abstract themes. These theme prompts help us learn about writing and connecting it to the civil unrest and other social problems our society currently suffers, expanding our views and knowledge of such issues. We’ve also learned about the spontaneous attitude that comes with writing and how it’s essential to keep writing when attempting to master it. She teaches how anything can bring inspiration, and acting on that inspiration is the only way to keep writing and motivating yourself to continue writing.
She is such a wonderful person who facilitates self-confidence, discovery, and learning about writing, while working on it for your benefit. Her teaching style and attitude help others gain confidence, and comfortability. Her class gives writers a place to try new things without judgment or expectation. She works well with those who want to get better at writing. Yet above all, she gives others the tools and opportunities to want to get better for themselves, not only as writers but as people. – Ella K