2016 was quite a year, and in many ways, it's a year I would like to forget. But what will 2017 bring? In the new world order that will be ushered in this January 20th, what can we as women writers resolve to do to meet our obligations both to the wider world and to ourselves? How can we nurture those around us while nurturing our writing, as well?
I have three resolutions for 2017 to share. Feel free to post your own in the comments, or in a post on your own blog here on the site. If you do the latter, ping me through the site (or email me at email@example.com) and we’ll “feature” your post here on the main page.
Here's my list.
1) ACT. Last weekend I attended the bat mitzvah of an old college friend's daughter, and the rabbi's first sermon of 2017 was just what I needed to hear. Uncertainty, he reminded us, citing copious research on the subject, is much harder on the human psyche than certainty is--we cope better when we know for sure something bad (or good) is going to happen than we do with the unknown. For obvious reasons 2017 presents us with enormous uncertainty as we begin a new era under a new president who openly denigrates women and minorities, and who campaigned largely on a message of hate and fear. It is tempting (for me, anyway) to crawl under the covers in light of this, to retreat. Do not retreat, the rabbi enjoined us, act! We can be certain of our own convictions, if nothing else, and it is in our power to act upon them. As a woman writer, I resolve to use my voice and my words to speak out about against hate, in all its forms, in 2017.
2) CREATE. Last fall, She Writes was lucky enough to partner with Elizabeth Gilbert for a live writing workshop in Napa Valley, an event we won't soon forget. Gilbert has written powerfully on the subject of creativity, championing its enormous power to guide and even to heal us. “Do whatever brings you to life, then," she writes in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, "Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” As a woman writer, I resolve to create what causes a revolution in my heart in 2017--and do it with openness, optimism, conviction, and above all, joy.
3) GIVE. This year, it feels more important than ever to nurture not only my own creativity, but that of others whose voices are often denigrated or simply ignored. It is important to tell your own story, but it is equally important to promote others', whether by reading manuscripts, offering encouragement, buying books, or supporting nonprofits. I have always volunteered when I could, but this year that commitment feels more important than ever. As a woman writer, I resolve to practice "radical hospitality" (thanks to the Hedgebrook Writers Colony for the phrase) in every part of my life, giving more of my time, my energy, and my resources to those whose needs will only grow in 2017.
Do you have resolutions to share? Again, write a blog post listing them, and send me an email through the site (or at firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll feature your post here on the main page. Let’s share our community’s wisdom as, together, we kick off 2017.