Sunday, May 12, 2013

Our Very Own "Leaning In"


Everyone has been reading or hearing about Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In. . . how women can empower themselves through voice and action.
 
At our Women's Writing Circle  anthology reception this past weekend,  we celebrated Slants of Light:  Stories and Poems From the Women's Writing Circle. I thought how we as writers are "leaning in."  We celebrated our accomplishments, our voices, each other. 
 
But we still have a long way to go. How do we stop downplaying our accomplishments?  How do we lean in?
 
It means bringing our families into our realm of  accomplishment and rejoicing with them, but if they choose not to partake, then letting go and reaffirming our commitment to our craft and creativity.

It means not apologizing to people about charging for our book and stop saying, I'm not good at selling and asking people for money; rather affirming our accomplishment and saying,  I am selling this book because it is my work, my expertise. I cannot let you have this book for free, nor should you expect it for free.
 
It means writing the truth of our stories and moving forward, putting behind the pain and writing without apology about lost innocence, failed marriages, our need for connection and romance, our disillusionment with the workplace, our struggle with addiction. 

This is the power of literature.
 
It means believing in our stories, and not sitting on the sidelines; not giving up on our belief that change needs to take place and is happening.

It means not listening to those who tell us ambition is equated with being unlikable. 
 
This is the power of our Women's Writing Circle anthology as celebrated yesterday at a beautiful historic bookstore in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  We made no apology for the stories and poems, which reflect our lives, our voices, our dreams, our desires, our meditations and reflections. 
 
We make no apology this is our time to tell our stories and that there are no male writers in this book. 
 
We make no apology that our stories are depressing, they are emotional, they are intense - and mostly, they are powerful. 
 
This is the power of telling our story.  As you write, you heal and move on - and share it with others. 
 
By writing the truth of our stories, releasing their intensity as well as their honesty, we  assert ourselves.   We do not care to downplay our accomplishments as writers, as entrepreneurs, as women.  We celebrate each other, our voice, our community as writers.
 
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