It’s National Writing Day.
Lisa and I, started The Avenger, after meeting through blogging for another page and quickly discovering we had lots in common. We both believed in the power of words, both for the writer and the reader.
Of course when we started our own page, we knew the internet was crowded with blogs and we would never be able to reach audiences of millions, but we both passionately about giving it a try.
We feel so proud of some of the blogs we have published, many anonymously, by people who usually do not get the opportunity to tell their story: stories of mental health workers, domestic abuse survivors and carers.
In the last two weeks I have written blogs on two of the subjects dearest to my heart: living with grief and women’s representation.
The first one was very difficult to write and I thought about keeping it as a piece of person writing. I showed it to a few close friends and three said it made them cry. I then felt that, if I could provoke such a reaction with words then maybe I was duty bound to publish it.
I waited a few days and put it up.
I was aware of the potential for criticism and accusations of attention seeking, but I felt strongly I had been true to myself in writing it and so if that was the case then so be it. I also realised that getting the truth out of my head and on the screen had been good for me.
In the event, I received lots of private messages from people who knew my mum, who I wrote about, and from people also affected by grief who wanted to say they identified with what I said.
This was humbling and touching and really made me think about the power of words.
Last week I wrote something more traditional, in terms of what I usually write about; politics, and specifically women in politics. All my writing is from the heart and is only ever about things I feel strongly about.
Again, I received reactions, including private messages of support from prominent people in politics, and from others who identified with what I had said. Others disagreed.
That’s fine too as the words are my truth.
So, on National Writing Day, I really just want to acknowledge that writing is important.
It brings opportunity for truth and reflection and I would encourage everyone to give it a go.