The Balanced Writer

Creating a Passionate, Productive Writing life

A HerStories Project Writing Class

A class for writers (or would-be writers) who want to build an authentic, productive writing practice...

Do you struggle to balance writing with everything else in your life?

  • Through our classes, we've heard that you want to know how others achieve balance, stay productive, and keep passionate about their writing.
  • We've heard that you are often overwhelmed by the idea of building a platform.
  • We've heard that you're not sure how to balance your long-term goals with your daily reality.

How do we stay inspired as writers? Let's talk about how to:

Set clear, manageable goals

Find a writing schedule that works 

Accomplish what matters most to you 

In this self-paced course, you'll learn:

  • Unit 1: Building a Writing Practice. Create a writing schedule. Build productive habits and thinking. Achieve your goals.
  • Unit 2: Finding Balance and Taking Care of Ourselves. Build boundaries. Practice self-care and mindfulness as a writer. 
  • Unit 3: Dealing With the Inner Critic. Confronting perfectionism. Identifying and pushing through our fears. Handling writer's block.
  • Unit 4: Building Community. Develop your platform. Cultivate collaboration and mentorship. Tackle social media.

How do you create a successful writing life?

This four unit class will guide you through:

  • the true meaning and importance of platform
  • the habits and thinking that may be holding you back
  • the organizational system and schedule that works best for you

How do you become a Balanced Writer?

This is the question that we'll explore in our class.

Our first selfie!

​Your instructors will include Stephanie Sprenger and Jessica Smock, the co-editors of The HerStories Project, a writing and publishing community that has published four successful literary anthologies. Stephanie and Jessica have taught previous classes on personal essay writing, motherhood and writing, and blog writing. Find out more about Stephanie and Jessica here.

  1. Self-Paced Lessons: Each lesson will include discussion sections.
  2. Guest lessons: You'll be able to learn from our amazing guest teachers. You'll also learn from what more than a dozen of your favorite bloggers and writers told us about their writing practices.
  3. Private Facebook Group: You'll be able to discuss assignments, ask questions, and share resources with the instructors and your classmates.

Meet our guest instructors:

Jordan Rosenfeld

Jordan is an author, editor, and writing teacher. She is the author of the books: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO PERSISTENCE, WOMEN IN RED, FORGED IN GRACE, MAKE A SCENE: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, and WRITE FREE. Jordan's work has appeared in AlterNet, GOOD, Mental Floss, The New York Times, The Rumpus, Salon, The Washington Post, Writer's Digest magazine and more.

Julie Burton

Julie Burton is a freelance writer, blogger, co-founder of the Twin Cities Writing Studio, a yoga instructor, a wife of twenty-two years and a mother of four children, ranging in age from twenty-one to eleven. Her book THE SELF-CARE SOLUTION: A MODERN MOTHER'S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO HEALTH AND WELL-BEING was published in May 2016 by She Writes Press. She writes about parenting, relationships, the aging process, and self-care for many national and local websites and publication, as well as her blog, Unscripted Mom.

Nina Badzin

Nina is our HerTake friendship advice columnist. In addition to founding the Twin Cities Writing Studio, she is a contributing writer for and Great New Books. Her essays have appeared regularly at Brain, Child Magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward, and in Jewish newspapers across the country. Her short stories have been published in over a dozen literary magazines. You can find Nina weekly at her blog:

Sarah Rudell Beach

Sarah is a teacher, writer, mother, and mindfulness ambassador. She is the creator of Left Brain Buddha, where she explores ideas and practices for mindfulness. She is also the Executive Director of Brilliant Mindfulness, LLC

Dorit Sasson

Dorit is a writer, radio show host, writing coach, speaker, and teacher. She is the author of THE ACCIDENTAL SOLDIER: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me About Faith, Courage, and Love (SWP, 2016) and several other nonfiction books. She has written for The Huffington Post, Media Bistro and The Write Life. She helps writers find their brand voices, share their unique voices, gain more visibility, increase their impact, and establish themselves as experts.

In this class, we'll be using a fantastic book by Jordan Rosenfeld as one of our resources: 

A Writer's Guide to Persistence: How to Create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice

We recommend (but not required!) that you purchase the book to get the most out of this class!​

We are grateful to these amazing writers, authors, and bloggers, who also shared tips and secrets from their writing lives for this class:

Sign Up Now!

What Former HerStories Project students are saying...

"The best online course I've had for memoir. In five years of taking writing workshops, Jessica's class was the hands on and specifics I'd been looking for. Classes in the past had too much time spent on feedback for the work of others and not enough time spent on building skills with exercises specific for that part of writing."

"I learned so much from the Personal Essay Writing Bootcamp! I have more tools in my writer's work box, which has also given me greater confidence. I'm inspired to go deeper with my feelings and my writing."

"I love the class! Having never taken an online writing class before I found it to be very quite informative and helpful. I learned a great deal and was able to pull this through into my writing."

"A hands-on, practical and communal course that solidified my appreciation for personal essays and the women who write them."

"Jessica and Stephanie led us through essay writing in small, manageable steps. I found this method really helpful as I am often overwhelmed by the blank page. I have taken many on-line classes and this was one of the few times that I did not overwhelmed and loose track of the process. I had a great experience working with Jessica and the other writers."

"I've taken many writing classes with lots of great teachers but every technique presented in this class was something new for me. The lessons were fresh with lots of very concrete instructions and specific assignments, all of which made me a much better and more focused writer. Thank you!"​


- Jessica and Stephanie​

P.S.: Don't hesitate to contact us at with any questions or concerns.