To put it plainly, See Jane Write Collective member Dr. Millie Jackson is smart. Really smart. She has a Ph.D. in English as well as graduate degrees in storytelling, health education, and library and information science. She’s also a certified coach, yoga teacher, reiki master, and labyrinth facilitator.
Her resume alone is enough to make her Member of the Month, but what makes Millie such a great addition to the See Jane Write tribe is how she blends all of her knowledge together as she searches for ways to live life to the fullest and shares this journey through her writing.
For about 10 years she blogged at https://milliejackson.wordpress.com about her health and wellness journey as a distance triathlete and then a yoga student and teacher. She’s in the process of launching a new site at http://www.millieljackson.com that will focus on writing, storytelling, and positive psychology coaching.
In the meantime, she’s busy leading workshops on writing for wellness. In late April she’s leading a virtual writing for wellness session exclusively for See Jane Write Collective members!
When See Jane Write hosted its first in-person meetup in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in summer of 2019, Millie was there and has been a loyal part of the group ever since.
Read on to get to know Dr. Millie Jackson.
Let’s talk about the concept of writing for wellness. When and how did you start to incorporate writing in your own wellness journey?
I’ve been a writer since I was a child. I journaled a lot about my weight and wellness through my 20s and 30s. The blog I started in 2000 was the path to starting to write about my wellness. I mainly wrote about my races, training, and weight loss journey. It changed when I returned to my training from grad school when I learned about James Pennebaker’s methods of writing. The blog resulted in three or four publications about my journey.
Why do you think writing can help us with our overall wellness?
I think it helps us tell our stories to others but also to ourselves. It helps when we can change the perspective. In our culture, we are led to believe that we need to look a certain way, weigh a certain number, and be fit in the way of fashion magazines. Through writing for wellness we can flip the narrative from the shoulds to What do I need? What is health and wellness for my life and my body? This is a way to begin to heal and accept what we can and cannot change.
What can See Jane Write Collective members expect to learn and experience at your virtual Writing for Wellness workshop?
This will be an introductory session to the method I learned in grad school and then a few years ago revisited in a workshop I attended at Duke Integrative Medicine. The workshop reviews the power of writing for your own wellness. We will do three short writing exercises. We will talk about the method and reflect on the process rather than what you write.
You have advanced degrees and certifications in various health-related fields. Have you found that this education also makes you a better writer?
I have way too much education. I would say yes and no. In my PhD I learned to write in a certain way. It doesn’t help me. I think my work in storytelling and narrative health and healing is probably the most useful work I have done related to my writing in this field.
Why did you decide to become a member of the See Jane Write Collective and what have you enjoyed most about being a part of the group?
I followed your work for a few years but I didn’t really think I could be a member if I didn’t live in Birmingham. When you held the event in Tuscaloosa I realized that I could join. I really enjoyed that gathering. I love the virtual writing sessions and the support of the group. There are so many talented women in the group and I love learning from them and hope I can offer something in return.
Who should be the next See Jane Write Member of the Month? Send your nominations to email@example.com and don’t be afraid to nominate yourself! Not a member? Apply to join here.