A guest post by writer and teacher Susan Gabriel:
I have never thought of myself as a particularly courageous person, but over the last few years –having dealt with hot flashes, heart palpitations and sleep deprivation, among other things – I’ve realized how brave I actually am.
It’s no small feat to get through major hormonal shifts. Yet, I’ve survived other tough things in my life, and I’ll get through this.
Still, despite all the courage we women have to claim to get around in this world, our fears abound.
I was reminded of this when I started teaching my Fearless Writing for Women workshops. In these workshops, which are held my home and run for six weeks, writers are given writing prompts, writing tips, and LOTS or encouragement to tell their stories.
My students – women who are mostly in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s – have amazing experiences to share and yet they also have nagging and sometimes paralyzing self-doubt that what they have to say doesn’t matter, has no value, or isn’t good enough.
What I tell these women is that we can’t afford to have this attitude.
We have to voice our fears in safe places like my workshops or other groups of women, but then we have to move forward anyway.
Because the world needs women’s stories!
Stories where ordinary, resilient women overcome adversity and have courage to claim their more authentic selves.
Stories about us.
To put it in perspective, it’s only been in the last hundred years that women’s stories have been published. Before that we basically had a handful of well-known authors like Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, as well as the ever notable Anonymous.
The world desperately needs women to write their stories and give other women (and men) the road maps for finding their way home.
With this in mind, I wrote a book called Fearless Writing for Women that gives extreme encouragement and inspiration using quotes, short essays by me and stories of creative women like Anne Lamott, Tina Fey, Annie Dillard, Virginia Woolf, Harriet Tubman, Ursula Le Guin, Barbara Kingsolver, Kathryn Hackett, Hillary Clinton, Alice Munro, Jane Austen, Maya Angelou, and others.
Please get whatever support you need – classes, workshops, a writing coach, whatever – to start or continue writing. We need your stories.
P.S. A BIG thank you to Barbara who is generously giving away a free paperback of Fearless Writing for Women.
Autographed paperbacks are also available through my website: www.susangabriel.com. EBook versions of all my books (fiction and nonfiction) can be found on Kindle, ibooks, nook, Kobo and Google Play, as well as in paperback everywhere. The Fearless Writing for Women audio book will be released this fall on Audible.
Giveaway: For a chance to win Susan’s book, Fearless Writing for Women, please leave a comment by August 31 saying you’d like to be the winner.
More about Susan Gabriel: Over a decade ago, Susan gave up her successful psychotherapy practice in Charleston, South Carolina to simplify her life and pursue writing. She writes with passion, humor and insight about Southerners, as well as a wide variety of other ordinary, odd and interesting characters, young and old. She lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina.