Meet Jessica

Author Jessica Conoley

Jessica Conoley empowers creatives & creates stories.

Jessica Conoley is a writer, intuitive, coach, & speaker. She founded The Creative’s Apprentice to help creatives (writers/musicians/artists/etc.) learn how to build their businesses in a mentally healthy, sustainable manner. She teaches how our personal body of creative work is the key that unlocks individual intuitive guidance, allowing us to step into our full creative power and highest potential.

A certified life & business coach, Jessica simplifies and de-scarys the transition from hobbyist to paid creative. As a writer she has faced the doubts, fears, and misbeliefs her clients struggle with; her personal experience helps show creatives how to navigate the Unknown and find happiness through each stage of their career. Her goal is to obliterate the myths of the starving artist and suffering in the name of art. Jessica’s specialty is helping creatives own their worth, increase confidence, & savor the reality of living their dreams.

Events

The Whole Story

And how’d this all start?

In 2010, my brain began to atrophy. Realizing I would die a tortuous, stifling death of boredom in the gray cubes of corporate America, I asked my friend, “But how did you know you wanted to write computer code?” (Because computer coding sounds atrocious, but she loves it in the same insane way I adore stripping wallpaper.) She told me she took some tests.

I paid $600 to a research institute and drove to Texas.

In a benign looking office building, I spent two days arranging eye-shadow samples into color schemes, putting poker chips with words embossed on them onto placemats, and writing really, really fast until a timer freed me.

The tester people said, “You would be good at disaster management and writing.”

Disaster management was all right, but I’d already worked hurricane Wilma and receiving glow sticks when you check into the hotel because they don’t have power is a young person’s game. (I mean I had just turned thirty.)

So, writing it was.

Writing had always been the way I worked through my thoughts. But, after the tests I looked at writing with a fresh eye. I was building a new career, and as with any other career you start at the bottom. I took my blows in writers’ groups, celebrated the sale of my first essay, and steamed in the pit of self-loathing when I didn’t write every day because that’s what real writers do. I discovered the genres that called to me, stumbled into my writer’s voice, and even completed a novel.

Fantasy novels were where I let myself play, but immediate success came with my non-fiction essays. (Serious face. The first essay I ever submitted was accepted, paid for, and published in a real print publication.) Short stories, flash fiction, essays, creative non-fiction, and how-to articles all got published eventually.  My creative non-fiction piece, I Am Descended From Giants was based on my Grandpa and his brothers, which made it extra special when it won first place honors from the Bacopa Literary Review.

In 2017, I signed with the Kneerim & Williams literary agency for The Color Eater, and found a great partner in my agent, Lucy Cleland. Lucy helped me take my novel-writing skills to the next level and showed me how important it is to have a fierce advocate on your side.

While all that writing was going on, I put my business-ing powers to use 2011 found me joining the board of Whispering Prairie Press–a non-profit dedicated to arts and literature. In 2012, I became Managing Editor of Kansas City Voices arts and literary magazine and spent the next five years publishing emerging writers and artists. The years I ran the non-profit and magazine taught me about running a small business and re-delivered a few more lessons about burn-out and what happens when you put other people’s work before your own.

I stepped away from both in 2017 to pursue my own writing and editorial business.

When my editorial clients began asking about publishing logistics and how to build their author platform, I realized my ability to de-scary and simplify business was a sleeper super-power.

Teaching workshops, speaking at conferences, and coaching writers all evolved organically. Strong edits helped my clients become better writers, but good writing wasn’t the main problem. Most of us gave up because of loneliness and other psychological strains.

In 2018, I began experimenting with group coaching for writers—my goal was to help them build a support system, as they learned about the business and improved their craft.

2020’s Pandemic hit. I was better off than a lot of people, because I was an introvert accustomed to working at home. Regardless, the stress of the world reorganizing reality left me struggling to write. In January, the book Practical Intuition by Laura Day left me with a very strong intuitive feeling that we were going to be home for two years.

So, in June of 2020, I launched my Patreon, with the main goal of establishing Co-Work Creative sessions.  These virtual workspaces evolved into positive, stress-free, work times and COVID respite. The group has seen friendships form across time zones and continents.

Day’s book left me with more than an urge to start a virtual co-working space though, it also left me with a series of handwritten predictions. Which would mark a turning point in my intuitive and energetic learning.

March 17, 2020 was the first time I learned a prediction I had made came true. My friends moved cross-country and upon their arrival there was an immediate case of mistaken identity–something I had jokingly warned them about before they left Kansas City. Over the next several years prediction after prediction came true. I didn’t talk about it publicly, because I didn’t understand it and was worried I would be judged or labeled “crazy.”

New Year’s 2021 brought me the first of three books that showed up in unconventional ways. Each book broke open a new layer of my brain. Once my brain had cracked wide enough, I was hit with a massive, monstrous download of an idea.

I was supposed to use my gift for simplifying and de-scarying business to change the way creative industries worked. I was supposed to build a company that would help people live their creative dreams. Teach them how to make money from their creative endeavors, introduce them to a constructive support system and help them be happy in the process.

After a shell-shocked week of sitting with that bit of info, I set out to buy The Writer’s Apprentice domain name. It was taken; that was the moment I understood how big this idea wanted to grow—after a few domain searches The Creative’s Apprentice was officially born.

Within a matter of my months my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. It was fascinating to building such a hopeful business for my creative future in the midst of losing all hope my mom would survive.

The next sixteen months of my life were carefully divided into public and private. Publicly, I announced business updates, workshops, and leaves of absence to care for mom. Privately, I tried to make sense of all that was happening—it felt like the closer mom got to death the stronger my energetic experiences became.

I had countless people to talk about grief and caretaking. But I knew no one who could explain why a conversation with an old friend sent a tsunami of energy so strong it brought me to my knees, or why I could feel a friend’s headache when they were half way across the country, or why I knew a person was waiting on something very impatiently—even though we hadn’t talked in weeks.

I began to doubt if physical pains and emotions I experienced were mine or belonged to people I was close to (physically or emotionally.) I quickly learned discussions on the subject made other people uncomfortable. Questioning looks and swift topic changes reinforced my fear that something in me was broken, and I pulled back from relationships, situations, and obligations.

In August of 2021 an advertisement popped up on Instagram for Jeffrey Allen’s Duality class. The class said it dealt with moving stuck energy. The memory of that energy tsunami suddenly made sense. Energy I had blocked for over a decade became unstuck, and there was so much of it stored up I physically couldn’t handle it. I dove into Jeffrey’s class with hope—maybe I wasn’t losing my mind after all.

Duality confirmed I wasn’t crazy. I just had a sensitivity to energy that no one in my immediate circle experienced. The class gave me tools to choose when (and how) I would engage with others energy. By the end of the class I had moved from fear to curiosity.

December of 2021, I learned mom wasn’t going to get better and my BFF cousin, Kelly, revealed her own cancer diagnosis.

Kell was nine months older than me; my first friend as only a cousin could be. She had been my sole confidant in ALL things energy since the day things started to get weird. Kell was a scientist; she found my energy oddities fascinating and there wasn’t a drop of judgement in her questions—just curiosity and concern.

The impending loss of two of the people I had loved most and longest had me reeling.

My logical brain made the only sense it could and concluded one was only given a month like this if they’re supposed to be learning something. My, still unbridled, energy brain kept getting the message everything is going to be fine—but I knew fine didn’t mean mom or Kell would live.

2022 was erratic and eye-opening.

My first big lesson was in gratitude for the flexibility owning my own business provided. I put growing the business on hold and spent as much time as I could with mom.

I began to see a pattern in how energetic lessons showed up in my life. Often a very emotionally “negative” experience would be immediately followed by a “positive” one. The extreme emotional contrast made the lessons memorable and began to show me there was a different way to approaching work. Things didn’t always have to be forced, willpower, and grind; when I leaned into the energy of a situation, problems could resolve unexpectedly, surprisingly, and with ease.

Finite time had me living in my moments with mom with a level of presence and focus I had never experienced before. The ticking clock taught me my real priorities and to let go of my attempts to control anything.

My energy and attention varied from day-to-day, and I knew I didn’t have the capacity to deliver high quality work to clients consistently, so I stopped taking new clients. However, I decided if I could learn how to find the good in this burned-to-the-ground season of my personal life, I could teach that to clients moving forward.

I escaped into learning because reality felt too hard. I studied intuition, energy, habit building, happiness, behavioral economics, business—anything and everything that would help me (and my clients) as we navigated the hard parts. Throughout 2022 I completed the life-coaching certification program at Evercoach by MindValley and became a certified Six-Phase Meditation teacher.

Mom died in June 2022 and of course I was sad—but mostly I felt relief. Relief she wasn’t in pain any longer and that I would have time for myself once again came immediately. But there was a quiet relief I couldn’t identify immediately—the relief to explore my energetic skills and learning openly and fully.

Mom had been very religious. Anything that wasn’t firmly grounded in Christianity was the work of the Devil and evil. Something to be cast out.

I was too scared to share my energy oddities with her while she was alive because I feared her religious beliefs would overshadow her love for me. I feared she would tell me I was broken and evil and she would go to her grave thinking something was wrong with me.  I was scared her final memories of me would be that I was possessed with something she could not love.

Over the 4th of July weekend I visited Kell for the last time, and the months until her death in January of 2023 are all a bit patchy.

The only thing I’m certain of for those seven months is my energetic experiences were intensifying in depth and frequency. I desperately sought connection with people who had similar skillsets and found some women in my coaching certification program. I gleaned what I could from them, read every book by Caroline Myss and any other energetic practitioner I could find, and took every class Jeffrey Allen had available. All of that was learning from a-far though. What I really longed for was a person with similar skills who I could talk to and ask ten-billion questions.

In 2023, I applied for Shirzad Chamine’s Positive Intelligence (PQ) grant program for coaches. I was accepted to the program, and with PQ I found another set of tools to help my clients.

2023 I heeded my intuition yet again and launched “The year I let myself (and my company) be seen.”