Since the election here in the U.S. two weeks ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be part of a writing sisterhood–to be part of a collective voice for change in a culture that is in the grip of a backlash. A cultural backlash is, of course, a violent reaction to progress and change. To my mind, a backlash occurs when the status quo is scared shitless at the prospect of losing its foothold of “power” to the tide of progress and change. So it rises up and lashes back with bigotry and discrimination.
For all its very real horrors, a backlash is also an indication that there has in fact been progress. Otherwise there would be nothing to lash back against.
For those of us who are committed to creating a conscious culture founded on justice for all human beings and the inclusion of all voices, this backlash offers an opportunity for us to push ourselves further out of silencing than ever before.
How to do this?
I recently heard Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, say (in an interview with Krista Tippett) that when it comes to social change, laws, while necessary, are not sufficient if hearts have not changed: “I view myself as on kind of a mission to change the country, the world, one heart at a time. And it’s a tough thing to do. I feel as if the heart is the last frontier because we have tried so many other things. And the laws that we’ve passed that we thought were written in granite we see can be erased and are in peril if, as a collective, we do not recognize why.”
Change the country one heart at a time. What a powerful–and, yes, challenging—endeavor. Anyone who has ever done consciousness and healing work knows that a heart has to break on its way to opening. (This is, of course, why changing the country one heart as a time is tough work. Who wants to feel heartache?) But once a heart opens? Healing, transformation, and compassion unfold.
And that’s where your writing, your voice, your story come in.
Personal stories speak the language of the heart. They reach beneath the surface of the story to the deeper emotional truth of the human experience. In this way, true stories change hearts. And, as the saying goes, a changed heart is a changed mind (and by extension a changed vote!).
Now, more than ever, we must write our stories as females. In the name of our own personal healing, yes, but also for the healing of our culture.
It’s not farfetched to say that writers heal the culture one story at a time. Writing is healing work. But it is also hard work that requires ongoing support and encouragement.
Writing Women’s Lives Academy is proud to announce its new private Facebook group called the Writing Out Loud Sisterhood. This is a Writing Sisterhood for women who are done with silence and are committed to being the voice of change (truth) in a wounded culture. It is a space for women to support and encourage each other to write their true stories and to claim their voice and their personal power.
Think of it as a “craft and consciousness” support group for your writing and for your sense of self. A “home base” that returns you again and again to your truth as a woman and as a writer. A place to share writing resources, provide encouragement, post inspirational quotes, set your writing intention, and prioritize your writing.
If you’ve taken Writing Women’s Lives classes in the past, this group is a central place where you can reconnect with your writing sisters. (Sisterhood reunion!) If you haven’t yet taken a Writing Women’s Lives class, you’ll experience in this Facebook group the power of sisterhood to build your confidence in your writing and in your voice.
If being part of a writing sisterhood resonates with you, I invite you to join us here. The link will take you to the Writing Sisterhood Facebook group. Once you are there, click the “join” button on the upper right side of the page. I will then confirm your request. I look so forward to connecting with you there!
In writing sisterhood,
P.S. Click here to join the Writing Out Loud Sisterhood!