Today is International Women’s Day, and though I certainly don’t need a holiday to celebrate women, in honor of this day I’d like to share five ways I think women writers can celebrate International Women’s Day every day.
I believe that we women who write need to accept the charge given by writer Nora Ephron: “Above all, be the heroine of your life.” And we should do all we can to encourage the women and girls around us to do the same. We must also do the work necessary to create a world where women and girls actually can be the heroines of their own lives.
If you’re not sure what all of this work looks like here are some ideas…
Write every day. Feminist scrapbooker Kristin Tweedale of Rukristin.com says that telling your story is a radical, feminist act and I couldn’t agree more. (I even did a TEDx Talk about the very idea.) So, find a way to share bits of your story every day whether it be writing in a journal, writing for your blog, or even posting thoughtful content on social media. If you need help getting started check out my list of 365 Blog Post Ideas and Writing Prompts or check out Tweedale’s book 100 Days of All About Me: 100 Introspective Prompts About Your Right Now Life.
Support other women sharing their stories. Read memoirs, novels, short stories, poems, and personal essays by and about women. Go see movies and plays written and directed by women and movies and plays with a strong female lead. (I’m going to see Captain Marvel as soon as I get off work!) Listen to female musicians. Support female visual artists. Watch TED Talks by women.
Related Reading: 7 TED Talks for Feminist Writers
Go after your goals. If you haven’t already, write down your goals for the year. Now commit to actually achieving them. Don’t try to do #allthethings at once. Simply promise yourself that you will do at least one thing to move you closer to accomplishing at least one goal every day. And remember that every time you achieve one of your goals you are empowering another woman to do the same.
Be a mentor. You can be a hero in your story and someone else’s, too. Mentor a girl in your community through a program like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls on the Run or through your church. If you’re in the Birmingham area consider getting involved with Girlspring, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower girls through a web-based platform and community events. You could even put your writing skills to use by helping out with their website.
Change the world one woman at a time. If we’re serious about making this world a better place for women and girls we need to recognize that work needs to be done in three spheres — philanthropy, research, and advocacy. Yes, we need to help women in need through community service but we also need to do investigate what social structures put women in difficult situations and dire straits in the first place. Then we need to work to establish and change policies that will dismantle the systems that are keeping women stuck between a proverbial rock and a hard place. Now, I know I don’t have the time, resources, or even the knowledge to do all this on my own. And that’s why I volunteer with the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, whose mission is to accelerate economic opportunity for women and their families through philanthropy, research, and advocacy. Find an organization like the Women’s Fund in your city and get involved today.
What are you doing today — and every day — to celebrate women, to celebrate yourself, and to be the heroine of your own story?