Free-Range Women’s Writing Circles

A radically supportive writing community for everyday women

journal and pen resting on a railing overlooking the ocean

What is Free-Range Writing?

Free-Range Writing is a transformative timed writing process that we use to uncover, awaken, reclaim, and tell our stories. We learn to bypass the critical mind and let our pen and mind roam freely, allowing the emotions and stories moving through us to spill onto the page.

This is not your typical high school English class. Free-Range Writing is a journey of exploration and discovery. The act of writing serves as a transformative gateway, unlocking our innate inner wisdom, illuminating the meaning within our experiences, reconnecting us to our unapologetic selves, and guiding us toward a life aligned with a deeper purpose.

Scientific studies have backed this up, demonstrating that expressive writing can be a powerful healing modality. 

Free-Range Writing is part of a tradition of automatic or generative writing, heralded by Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way,” Natalie Goldberg in “Writing Down the Bones,” and Laurie Wagner in Wild Writing, akin to practices like morning pages or guided journaling.

We write as fast as we can, for 15 minutes, the pen never leaving the page. By writing so quickly, we can outrun our inner critic, ego, and all the ways we stay trapped when trying too hard to look good.

Whether you write professionally, aspire to start a Substack column or write a book, or simply jot down thoughts in a bedside journal, this practice can be truly transformative.

What are Free-Range Women Writing Circles?

Free-range women’s Writing circles are nonjudgmental places where transformation and healing can occur. They are intimate, safe, and sacred.

Here’s how it works: I read a poem and then offer a line of poetry as an inspirational writing prompt. Afterward, the group goes around the circle and shares what they wrote while the others practice silent, generous listening. There is no judgment. No critiques. We simply write, share, and bear witness to others as they courageously do the same. We typically do this three times, each allowing us to go deeper.

This “campfire-style” sharing is where the real magic happens. Sharing your stories with others gives them more power. Many students find that reading their writing aloud gives their words more power and helps them let go of painful emotions.

The practice is simple but the magic that happens when we gather is anything but. There is no pressure to write well, though we may end up writing ourselves well.

Also, there’s no homework! The only commitment required is you show up to class once a week as your unapologetic self and write honestly.

Free-Range Writing is for anyone, whether you’re a novice or have published your third book. Everyone is welcome.

These writing circles are for you if:

  • You are facing a difficult challenge, such as loss, grief, or loneliness, and want a supportive place to explore your sadness, anger, confusion, and other emotions.
  • You are a new parent, an empty nester, recently married or divorced, experiencing a career reset, or going through a significant transition and trying to find your new bearings.
  • You are looking to jumpstart or get unstuck on a specific writing project and want to cultivate a practice that helps peel back the layers and get to the meat of what you are trying to express.
  • You are a patient or caregiver dealing with a significant illness and want to regain control of your narrative and express the unvarnished truth of what you’re dealing with.
  • You feel called to write but can’t seem to get your butt in the chair. You’re looking for structure, inspiration, support, and accountability in a safe and supportive community.
  • You yearn to be part of an intentional community that values honesty and authenticity during these crazy, uneasy times.

Whatever your reason, Free-Range Writing Circles will help you find yourself and your people.

Free-Range Writing Women’s Circles and Healing Circles are small by design. Like witches in a coven mixing a brew, we gather (in person or online), each bringing our unique ingredients to the cauldron: our lives, our stories, our grief, our hopes. We can’t mix the brew without you. Will you join us?

These 90-minute sessions take place in real-time over Zoom and are limited to eight participants each.  In each session, you’ll have the opportunity to write and share from the comfort of your home with an intimate cohort of kindred spirits from across the globe.

Register Now!

Early bird registration is now open for the forthcoming Fall 2024 circles. Reserve your spot in the next circle. To secure your seat, send tuition to @meesha-halm on Venmo and write the session # in the subject field. Class times here.

Get on the list!

Receive free writing prompts and learn about free workshops, upcoming live writing sessions, digital courses, retreats, and pop-up workshops.

Here’s what students are saying about my writing circles:

“A diagnosis can alter your life down to your cells. Meesha’s class offers a gift to her students. A space to be honest, a place to unload a burden that no one else needs to hold, and an opportunity to meet creative friends who will move with you past the cliche, “You are not alone.” Free-Range Writing encourages you to tap into parts of yourself you didn’t realize were there, giving you genuine strength. If you stumble into the opportunity to write with Meesha, say yes, and you will transform.

– Jenny, elementary school teacher

“Meesha’s Free Range Writing Circle is truly a gift. I went into the class with the intention of just practicing my writing and figured it would help motivate me to get words on paper each week, the class provided that incentive and more. Meesha’s calm guidance helps each participant reach deep into our heart and write what is really on our minds. The circle felt intimate and supportive (even over Zoom). The process of writing, reading and having witness to my words helped to heal parts of me I didn’t even know existed. We all cried at least once, we laughed at the little things in life and I really came away with a sense of accomplishment for getting my story onto paper. Who knew 1.5 hours a week of writing furiously, pen to paper, could really transform my perspective on life.”

— Kelsey, urban watershed planner

“Joining Meesha’s Free-Range Writing circle has been a powerful experience. She creates a safe, non-judgmental space for women to explore the beauty, magic and melancholy of anything and everything that comes up when we write deeply from our souls. I always leave our sessions spent but lighter, and with a bit more insight into myself.”

– Kristine, creative director

“I am so grateful to have found Meesha’s Free-Range Writing Circle! My journey in her sessions has been one of discovery and growth. I went in thinking about myself one way and uncovered new and fascinating things that I had not expected to think or feel. To be in the company of other brilliant and generous members has been a blessing. I appreciate the safe space to share and explore my thoughts, feelings, and dreams. I am making Free-Range part of my self-care regimen.”

– Molly, analyst

“Meesha’s Free-Range Writing circles allow me to drop into feelings and thoughts and put them on the page with no fear or concern about whether what I write is good enough. When I hear other participants share their short pieces I am touched by their vulnerability and it gives me permission to fully express myself.”

— Lauren, PainterDancer, artist, and creative facilitator

“Meesha is a talented leader whose kindness and care will help you know yourself more deeply. She creates a supportive and generous space that allows you to be vulnerable and show up as you are. ”

– Dayna, author

“This was totally out of my comfort zone and I’m so glad I did it. I had an emotional release that I did not know I needed. Unfortunately, this morning I found out that my CEA jumped quite a bit after my short stint dancing with NED. I feel compelled to get the journal out and continue writing. Thank you for providing me with and encouraging this new outlet. My resistance to writing is generally due to my perfectionism so the Free-Range Writing was liberating. Meesha, thank you so much.

– Samantha, patient

Taste of Free-Range Writing Workshops (seasonal)

Are you or someone you know curious about joining my writing circles? I frequently host free Taste of Free-Range Writing workshops. Discover the therapeutic joy of letting your creativity roam free. This one-hour online workshop will be live and open to all new, current, and former students.

No experience is required—just an open heart, mind, and good Wi-Fi. I’ll introduce the practice, provide an evocative poem prompt, and guide you through a writing session. After, you’ll get a chance to share your writing with the group. (That’s where the real magic comes in.) Join us to write, share, and connect. Sign up for my mailing list to learn about upcoming free workshops and get priority registration to the next round of circles.