Today I welcomed member number 10,000 to join the ranks of She Writes. (Feel free to welcome her, too: Heather Gordon-Young
!) And those ranks have swelled in a way that Debbie and I never dreamed possible. In a little over a year we have gone from zero to 10K, and when Debbie and I were discussing how to commemorate the rapidly approaching milestone, Debbie said something very simple, and very powerful. "Just think of it!" she said to me. "Ten thousand women have now got your back."
That's right. Ten thousand women (and a few good men, too) are now a part of this community, sharing their knowledge, lending their support, and banding together to make the art and practice of writing just a little bit easier for us all. This is an incredibly powerful thing, a potentially game-changing thing. Debbie had it right. Every one of you can now say: ten thousand She Writers have got my back.
To celebrate, I am asking each of you to shout out a woman who has had your back, now or ever. We all need to be carried sometimes; none of us can walk this walk alone. Who has protected you from hurt, from sadness, from harm? Who has fed you when you were hungry -- for a hug, for an encouraging word, for a hand? Who has remembered your birthday, read your first draft, dropped everything to come when you called? Who has been your teacher, your mentor, your student, your sister, your friend? Remember her and honor her by giving her a shout out on She Writes today, and if you tweet, shout her out on Twitter with the hashtag #SWSO. (She Writes Shout Out.) I can think of no better way to mark this occasion than lighting up this network and the world beyond it with the names of the women who make us shine.
My shout out goes to my flesh-and-blood sister. A few weeks ago she flew from San Francisco to New York to help me celebrate my 38th birthday. She'd been pulling all nighters for two weeks working on a grant application for her job in city government, and was dead tired and downright spent. (The subject line of her email to me with her flight information was: "I'm coming, dammit!") But that didn't stop her from fulfilling what she saw as her mission for the weekend -- getting me settled into the apartment I'd been living in for a year, but hadn't yet had the strength or the help I needed to make into a home. This woman held my hand on the ferry to IKEA, hauled flatpacks onto flatbeds and was visibly frustrated that while she helped me find just about everything I needed, she didn't succeed in getting me a headboard for my bed. She and my dad, who also flew up to lend a hand to the rescue-Kamy mission, spent hours building bookshelves, assembling cabinets, and hanging lamps. She made multiple trips to the hardware store. She used a power drill. She cut out newspaper sqaures the size of the art I'd never hung on the walls so I could decide where I wanted it. And on my birthday, she and my dad spent the day chopping, slicing and cooking a feast for eight people (and two little boys: mine) to create the first-ever dinner party in the apartment was finally, after a very long, very difficult year in my life, beginning to feel like home.
Rescue mission: accomplished.
Kimberly Wicoff, thanks for having my back.
Now tell us: who's got yours?