Janelle Cooper-Alex - Women's Writing Coach

Passionate Women Writers on Purpose…writing for change

Category: storytelling

They Need to Hear Your Story

They Need to Hear Your Story

Your Story Equals Freedom

When you share your story with others it can give you a sense of release and freedom, but even more it can uplift others so they realize they’re not alone and they can attain freedom, too! Disclosure is a often like walking at highwire though. If you share too much, you may fall or your audience may look away and leave. On the other hand, if done right, you can keep your readers, viewers, listeners and followers on the edge of their seats. They want to know how you’re achieving success or have had success before. And, they want to know that they can do it, too!

The key is discovering your story…the one that will be most impactful for those you want to help create positive change for. What do they need to hear about you and your journey?  What was a rock bottom point for you that you were able to come back from? How can they do the same? Do you have methods that will help them do that?

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Think about the people you writing it for. Put yourself in their shoes before writing your story. You’ve got to connect with them on a deep level, so they’re emotionally connected to you and they keep reading. When you tug on their heartstrings you have a real chance of inspiring them to take action for themselves.

But, how do you do that? Usually we need help discovering those vital pieces. Don’t try to do it on your own. You can find what I call “blind strengths” within your story and within yourself. Jump over and consider letting me help you discover yours! Click here!

Janelle Cooper – The Writing  & Book Coach  for Women who feel the call to make a real difference in the world, but don’t know how to start.  

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5 Reasons Storytelling is Vitally Important | It’s MUSIC to the Soul

5 Reasons Storytelling is Vitally Important: It’s MUSIC to the Soul

Storytelling is Absolutely Vital in Our World

Storytellers are leaders, educators, entertainers and transporters. By now, you probably know that I use Sacred Author Archetypes to represent the inner powers you have within you as a writer. Knowing your archetype is can make a dramatic difference when you’re trying to write posts, articles, or books that you want others to voraciously consume.

Furthermore, understanding what I call MUSIC of Writing will take your message, your story, to a much deeper level. It will help you expand the quantity of people you reach. It’s just as important as know your Sacred Author Archetype.

M = Make a connection

When you make a connection with your readers they’re far more likely to keep reading and be excited about taking in the message or story you’re sharing with them. This is when you open the door for them to experience real transformation. Share in the comments below one way you make a connection with your readers.

U = Unforgettable

Write your story (or include enough story in your non-fiction), so that your readers will remember what you’ve given them for weeks, months and hopefully years to come.  Making it unforgettable makes it easier for them to tell others about it, which is the “S” in  “MUSIC”. Share in the comments below one reason you believe your story is unforgettable.

S = Share

Connecting to your readers and writing a story that is unforgettable creates an excitement around your writing that causes readers to tell their friends, family members, co-workers, clients, etc. about it.  But, it’s also important to appropriately ask people to share your work, too. Share in the comments below one way you gently, but lovingly ask people to share your story or writing.

I = Inspire to Take Action

If you pull your readers in and help them bond on an emotional and spiritual level with the characters, case studies, you or your message, you’ll have created a platform for which you to stand on. Once you’ve done that, you’ve earned the right to urge them into action. It may be action they take to make a difference in their own life or it may be action that affects the world on a bigger stage. Share in the comments below one action -specific or not- you hope your readers will take.

C = Create Positive Change

Creating positive change is the ultimate goal of writing on purpose and writing for…well, change. I had a client a couple of years back who changed his life because of reading Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery, and I’ve had clients and colleagues who changed their lives after reading work by Wayne Dyer or Elizabeth Gilbert. Personally, I created positive change in my life after reading Parker J. Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak. Fiction and non-fiction, intentionally and unintentionally can create change in someone’s life. Share in the comments below one positive change you hope to see because of your writing.

Janelle Alex – The Writer’s Shaman for Women who feel the call to make a real difference in the world, but don’t know how to start.  

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Conflict and Civility in a Hate-filled Political Climate

Guest Post from Kathy Weyer

Conflict and Civility

I sound like an old lady. Maybe I am.

Let me begin by saying there is nothing wrong with kindness, just please do not confuse kindness with weakness, nor bullying with strength. Just because I don’t raise my voice and call you an idiot does not mean I am weak, and if I were to make an issue of something it does not mean I am a bully.

I am neither.

What I am, and I can only speak for myself, is someone who values courtesy and respect before opinion.  That sometimes looks like an inability to stand up for myself. I get it. (My perspective is that our last president had this same problem. He allowed people to keep their dignity, but respected opinions different from his. He was perceived as weak. Maybe I am, too.)


Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

So it’s important to me to find a way to speak up, be heard, and still honor my own path of respect and dignity. This means setting my own boundaries, something I think we have lost as a society. We cannot dictate good taste or manners, but we can set an example.

I was taught years ago when I first started my professional life that every sentence uttered needs to count for something, that there is a specific goal you are after in the conversation or idea. If not, keep your mouth shut. Grandstanding and attention getting doesn’t cut it – especially for women.

That may look like meekness. In fact, it’s a strength. To keep your head while all others are losing theirs and stay focused on the true goal is a skill, learned with patience and observation.

What we need is to find a balance – to stand up for our beliefs without being aggressive, disrespectful or mean. I see posts where people disagree by calling each other names indiscriminately, resulting in more cyberspace insults that do nothing but escalate. One side is never going to convince the other of their own truth, only that they are passionate about it. That passion has become an excuse for incivility.

In our current political climate, people have gone insane, and it’s not helping. That is not to say we should stay silent when we see something we object to – that’s the basis of democracy. But we need to learn to do it in a more productive way.

Personally, I have been very critical of what’s happening in Washington because to sit back and be silent is to condone – that’s my opinion.  I’ve never done it before, and I daresay I’m not alone. I’ve always felt that people were entitled to their opinion, live and let live, no skin off my nose.


Not any more. This is too important to me.

One of my own boundaries is to state my opinion and walk away. You are welcome to disagree with me and send me reams of cogent points to back up your own opinion. Civil discourse is welcome here.

But if you call me names or insult my intelligence, you are probably doing it to others, and I will call you out on it by asking why – what is the purpose, the ultimate goal of your comment? That I’m an idiot? Not entirely helpful.

So before you speak, tweet, or post, ask yourself – what do you expect to come out of that conversation? If it’s not productive, it’s not worth your time.

You’re not that important.

conflict and civility

Kathy Weyer, author of Stitches and self-proclaimed late bloomer, uses powerful storytelling to open discussions about social issues. www.KathyWeyer.com


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The Power in Storytelling | The Writer’s Shaman

The Power in Storytelling

There is a story behind it.  There always is.  But what is that story?  What is it that you’re trying to express to the reader or the listener?

Stories have the power to teach, to advocate for, to transport and to perform for.  We, as authors, have a tendency to be stronger in one of those areas over the others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to blend in the other important pieces as well.  In fact, this is where I always ask women writers to start – discover your Sacred Author Archetype.  You’ll become a much better storyteller once you do.

When you tell stories, you are handed the opportunity to change lives – yes, even when you write fiction novels with the sole purpose being to entertain the reader.  Stories are most certainly not just for children; therefore, neither is storytime.  Instead, it’s a chance to embrace a new way of seeing the world, a new way of experiencing a situation, a new way of being during your normally busy and hectic day.  Let’s make sure that whether writing fiction or non-fiction, you bring an engaging story to the reader – a story that won’t be forgotten. 

Expanding the Vision of the Four Sacred Author Archetypes

Which of the four is your power as a storyteller, as a writer, as an author?

Jaguar – Advocate

Jaguar’s Sacred Agreement is to walk a solitary path with passion and courage.

Advocate = a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of another person, animal, thing, place, event, etc.

If your sacred author archetype is that of Jaguar – Advocate, you typically take a stand for something or someone.  You’re willing to speak out and write about why and how what you stand for should be treated with respect and diginity and how it should be appropriately honored.  You also realize this may draw attention from those who do not agree with you.  However, as a Jaguar, you’re willing to stand strong – passionately and courageously.  

Writing this can be done blatantly or in a way that weaves it gracefully, but powerfully into your story.   

Eagle – Teacher

Eagle’s Sacred Agreement is to powerfully envision the bigger perspective.

Teacher = a person who supplies others with knowledge or direction; they train and educate

If your sacred author archetype is that of Eagle – Teacher, you typically can see the bigger picture.  Because you can see the pieces as one whole you also know how to break them down and give direction to others, so that they can better understand it.  This is a vital skill to have and one that is desparately needed in the world.

Often Eagles write non-fiction via self-help, personal development, etc.  However, this power as a storyteller can be blended into fiction as well.

Butterfly – Transporter

Butterly’s Sacred Agreement is to dance joyously, lightly and colorfully with life’s changes.

Transporter = a person who carries or moves others from one place to another

If your sacred author archetype is that of Butterfly – Transporter, you are one who embraces change – something most human beings try to avoid or do not handle well.  You have the ability to check out various different perspectives and you’re open to new possibilities.  You are excellent at taking bits of information from one and bringing it to another to help them grow and change.

As a writer, not only do you bring new information to others, but you help them leave behind their daily life stresses and move them into a space of relaxtion and beautiful new experiences.

Dolphin – Performer

Dolphin’s Sacred Agreement is to balance life’s work and play fluidly.

Performer = a person who accomplishes a goal while keeping the attention of others in a fun or entertaining way

If your sacred author archetype is that of Dolphin – Performer, you’re an inspiration to others while making them laugh or experience life in a more enjoyable way.  Yet, you’re way of entertaining may not always seem playful.  It can be very ritualist or have a strong pattern to how you go about it.  Your ability to listen helps you guide your readers, listeners and fans further as you take in what they want from you.

As a writer, your stories are compelling because they help readers step away from work and give time to themselves for play.

Which of these four Sacred Author Archetypes is your main one?  Take the short quiz now.  The more you know about your power as a storyteller, the better you’ll be able to write in a way that will touch those who you are truly trying to reach.

Creating more powerful women leaders with fierce passion and grace,


The Writer’s Shaman for Passionate Women Writers on Purpose…writing for change

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