We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.
— e.e. cummings
The Intuitive Writing Project is a transformative arts program, a unique hybrid of creative writing class, teen support group, and personal development program. As girls* write their stories and assert their voice, they discover who they are, who they want to become, and how to find their own answers. (*The word girl includes all gender-expansive youth: trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, and gender queer youth among others.)
Although we talk a lot about the principles of writing, leadership and intuitive self trust, we are not teachers so much as we are facilitators. Our job is to facilitate a creative, empowering writing experience for each and every student. As facilitators, our job is just to "mirror back" the wisdom and power of each girl, to support her in discovering her own greatness—and becoming the leader of her own life.
We are also tasked with creating a creative and emotional safe space, which we do by adhering to the guidelines of the Amherst Writing Method: 1) Everyone is a writer and every voice is important. 2) All writing is treated as creative fiction and affirmed for its strength, with only positive feedback which is addressed to “the writer,” as in “I loved how the writer described the _____.” 3) What is shared in class, stays in class.
Unless a student agrees to have their work published on our blog, Intuitivevoice.org or Pens of the Pandemic, they reserve the right to keep their writing private. When you enroll your daughter in the Intuitive Writing Project, you are entrusting her with her own personal development process. This process is different for each girl, because each girl is different, endowed with her own unique path and purpose.
We hope your daughter will share what she learns. We hope she will let us share her writing with you—first on our blog and then by publishing her work in our annual anthology! But sometimes girls need to write about things they are not yet able to share. We want girls to feel safe to write about the things they can’t talk about anywhere else. Because there's so much we can't share from the classroom, we want to share our commitment to your daughters, no matter what:
We are committed to seeing the unique power and wholeness of each girl, listening with empathy, respect, and unconditional acceptance.
We are committed to respecting the wisdom and deep inner-knowing of each girl, to listen to their struggles without intervening and to foster emotional resilience and problem solving—so that each girl is empowered to find her own answers.
We are committed to giving girls the structure, stability and safe-space they need to express themselves honestly. We do this by providing a relaxed, playful and encouraging environment where girls can sit together, connect with each other, speak their truth and be their truest, best, most authentic selves.
We are committed to supporting each girl in the discovery of her own unique strengths, talents, passions, interests and personal values.
We are committed to giving girls the time and space to think, reflect, and write—and then to read their words out loud, to "declare what they know to be true."
We are committed to giving girls the time and space to verbalize and “own” all their feelings and experiences, free from judgment, to express whatever comes up—sadness or anger or fear or excitement or everything at the same time!—and know that whatever comes up is necessary, valid, and important. (It is through self-expression that we develop self-knowledge, and it is through self-knowledge that we develop self-trust and self-esteem.)
We are committed to deeply listening to, valuing and affirming the immeasurable inner life of girls, to being fully present and receptive to the innate sanctity of each unique, precious, and amazing young woman.