Returning to the Writer's Heart

Beyond blogging

Beyond editorial calendars & submission strategies & rejection slips...

Before writing became a daily chore to do

There was just you & your journal

by hand.

by heart.

​You can return to that place.

In the midst of writing for publication, editing, blogging, and all the writing-related tasks, I sometimes forget the basics:

The real reason I write is because it makes me a better person.​

    • I've written through the grief of my father's death. I've written to heal from sexual trauma. I've found comfort in my journal during some of the hardest times of my life.
    • I've also found meaning and joy through writing. I've created intention and mindfulness through writing. I've created a real communion with God through writing. 
    • Yes - writing does that, if you dare to write from the heart.

If you've turned away from your true love of writing in pursuit of what is supposed to be a "successful writing life", this is for you.  

If you are aching to restore or create a writing practice that nurtures your soul, this is for you.

You can breathe life into your writing practice with ease and joy.

You can learn to trust your own voice, ask the difficult questions, and dig deep to access your inner wisdom and truly divine self.  

Being a writer and a generally creative being can be immensely satisfying, but it's much deeper than that. Writing helps us to pay attention. Writing asks us to notice the details, to yearn for truth. When you show up fully, writing can show you the way to your best self. 

Returning to the Writer's Heart

A 14 Day Restorative Journey

Returning to the Writer's Heart is a gentle 14-day journey into the real reasons you write. It is intended to guide you into a new year of writing goals with ease and clarity. Taking only 15 minutes a day to complete, each lesson (emailed to you daily) will include an inspiring story on the day's theme, a short self-care exercise, and a series of journal prompts to bring you back to your heart. In a space of quiet knowing, you will find comfort and clarity as you close out one year and shepherd in a new beginning. 

Welcome to Your Writer's Heart

  • DURATION: 14 days
  • COST: $49

Kind Words

I really needed to pause and 'plug out' from my daily world, and soak up some fresh perspective for my writing practice in a community with kindred spirits. 

I loved the writing exercises and prompts, the renewed value for rituals in my writing practice, the declaration of intention poem. Connection to people who speak my language.

As someone who has been to an infinite number of writing workshops, conferences and retreats, I found this experience with Iris to have more of a personal touch. It was safe space, sacred truth space, inspired space, breathing space.

VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia

Author of Butterfly Spirit: Poems of transparency, transformation and truth

What you'll learn

    • Why you write - your core motivations - and how to leverage that
    • How to write for healing and personal growth
    • How to balance personal writing and public sharing
    • How to use journaling to fuel your public writing projects
    • How to revise, edit, and improve a personal narrative so that it is publishable
    • How to create writing goals that don't stress you out
    • How to develop a writing practice that is contemplative and soothing

Benefits of returning to your heart

    • Add more joy to your life
    • Get clarity and direction for your writing
    • Develop a writing practice that feels more aligned with your highest Self
    • Learn to find peace and comfort even in stressful times
    • Nurture your creative spirit
    • Create more mindfulness and presence in each day
    • Become the best version of your self

  • DURATION: 14 days
  • COST: $49


My Story

I'm a writer, an artist, a believer.

I believe we can be the change…

I believe we dream our world into being.

I believe we can access our own inner wisdom to heal and thrive.

To say that I facilitate creative expression is more accurate than to say I teach writing. Sure, I can share instructions on how to write a poem or an essay. But I believe you already have the words to say what you need to say. Far beyond just language and writing, I want to encourage contemplation and deep conversations.

I help people connect to their own voice, their own unique ways of telling. I listen deeply and witness people's storytelling experience. I share the journey with them. I'm a facilitator and advocate creating the space for our stories to be shared.

My approach to expressive writing workshops, including e-courses and self-guided work, comes from nearly a decade of experience working with military veterans in the arts and more than two decades of writing workshop participation across genres. I have a BA in Communication, Media and Theatre and have worked with professional writing and theater communities throughout Chicago. I've formally studied with poets, non-fiction writers, journalists, actors, and journal therapy practitioners. I am not a therapist and my workshops are not intended as therapy or professional mental health support. However, I do believe in our innate ability to heal and grow through the power of our stories.

I emphasize confidentiality, compassion, and respect (for self and others) in all of the workshops I facilitate. In a collaborative environment, I encourage group members to identify guidelines that would help them feel supported in our workshops. I also ask that all group members be mindful of their own self-care needs during and after our work together.

I've used poetry, performance, and visual art as ways to share some difficult stories in my own life. Sharing my stories has helped me heal. Honoring my stories in those ways has given me peace. To learn more about me and my writing background, visit my About page.

My vision for you is that you learn to listen for your stories: the real stories that exist beyond the fear, beyond pain. I want for you to touch a place of wholeness and understand that it is your truest nature.

You can create poems - and you can create POETRY out of the ordinary moments of your life. A life that feels like poetry in motion. A writing practice that truly serves you (and not the other way around.) That is my wish for you.



An email account -- all materials will be sent to you by email. A journal, a pen, and about 15 minutes per day.


Yes! This course is designed to help you relax and unwind as the year comes to a close. The readings can be done in about 5 minutes -- even on your phone if necessary. You can read the exercises and just let them unfold in your mind throughout the day. Then, steal away another 5-10 minutes at the end of the day to do the writing exercise. You may take more time if you can, but each exercise is meant to flow easily with whatever amount of time you have available. Just make the commitment!


Yes and No. This is not a course on the craft of writing. Instead, this course should help you tune in. You'll ask and answer questions about what you need, desire, and crave. You'll write about things you observe daily and get a chance to practice expressive writing techniques. However, I believe that when you hone your ability to describe your memories and dreams, you'll begin to express yourself fully and improve as a writer. Writing skills will improve with time and practice. And, of course, when writing become a more joyous practice, growth is inevitable.


When you purchase your course, you will be directed to PayPal to complete your payment. When payment is confirmed, you will be given the option to send the course to a friend for FREE. (It is the holidays, after all). You will need to enter your friend's name and email address. Then I will email your friend telling her how much you love and adore her. Your friend will then get the same course materials as you. You could do the writing prompts together or simply provide encouragement and accountability for each other. THIS is mindful gift-giving.