I’ve started working specifically as a feminist writing coach with the mission to get more women’s books written, published and out there changing the world because over the years I’ve seen female authors showing up again and again with the same issues – ones which male authors don’t seem to face to the same extent.
It’s lead me to believe that women writers suffer profoundly from the side-effects of patriarchy or even internalised misogyny in ways which cripple our creativity.
You may be experiencing the ‘symptoms’ of patriarchy if you’re experiencing one or more of the following in your writing life:
1. YOU PROCRASTINATE – Cleaning the house has never been so appealing. Absolutely everything else in life has to be done before you’ll ever sit your hot ass in a chair and get typing. It hurts not to write, but you can’t seem to get to it either. This is linked to 4. Women are treated as pretty much less than in our culture, so you worry and wobble and make yourself busy with other things.
2. PUTTING YOUR CREATIVITY LAST – Every one else’s emotional and physical needs come first – the husband, the lover, the child, the guinea pig. Even though not writing kills your soul and makes you cranky, you feel it’s selfish to want to write as it’s an indulgence.
3. NOT CLAIMING YOUR STATUS AS A WRITER – You feel you’re not really a writer as you’re not published yet/ haven’t made money at it/can’t live on it/I haven’t got any big awards. Maybe you have all that and still feel uncertain of yourself as an artist. Aren’t male authors the ones who get the big deals, reviews and awards? Surely, they must be the real geniuses then.
4. SELF-DOUBT – You may be talented, people may sing your praises, but you have serious concerns about your work and whether it’ll ever get published/be successful/if it’s really any good or people are just being nice. I mean, culture doesn’t focus on much other than our looks and ability to hook a man or birth a child, so surely we don’t have gifts outside those areas?
5. COMPARISON – ‘All my writer friends are doing so much better than I am, so I must be useless. I kind of envy and compete with them in my mind, but it’s painful and makes me uncomfortable about my own work.’ Patriarchy loves women to tear other women apart – divide and rule is one of its main ways to keep us down, but it can make us feel very alone and thus less strong to take on the literary world.
6. PERFECTIONISM – You may over-edit and obsess over your work to the point it never gets finished or you may never send stuff out as you are terrified of failure and rejection as women are supposed to be perfect and do everything just right first time – something which is impossible as all first drafts are rubbish and nearly all writers get ‘no’ letters.
7. EXHAUSTION – You’re so shattered from meeting everyone else’s needs, doing everything you can to make the world happy and not looking after yourself that there’s no energy left for creativity.
8. YOU ARE SCARED OF YOUR AMBITION – Nice girls don’t want to rule the world, do they? Ambitious women are bitchy, bold, unlikeable.
9. YOU ARE SCARED TO BE VISIBLE – Women are taught to be silent and take up little space, even in terms of our body size. Public women are subject to vicious criticism and who wants that? Hence it’s so hard to promote books and go after literary success because it breaks the mold of ‘feminine conditioning’, as my mentor, Jo Casey, puts it.
10. YOU DON’T WRITE – This is the most serious symptom of all. Finally, you’re so afraid, shattered and conflicted that you give up on your writing dreams.
If you’re suffering from patriarchy as a female author, don’t panic though, there is a solution – work with me.
I know how to get you writing again and how to create a writing practice that works for you and doesn’t wear you out.
I know how how to boost your confidence, rooting out the cultural messages which tell us to play small, avoid going after our goals and that we should focus on everyone else’s needs, putting ourselves last.
I can teach you how to balance meeting your own artistic and personal wants with loving and caring for others.
I know how to get you past patriarchal comparison culture to creating community with other women writers and getting the support you need to success as a female author.
I can work with you on the perfectionist messages which are stopping you from reaching your potential and replace them with positive self-belief.
I can give you objective, but encouraging editorial feedback so you no longer get driven crazy by trying to redraft your work.
I can build your resilience so the inevitable rejections and disappointments of the writing life no longer hold you back.
I can help you feel at peace with being bold in your literary ambitions and promoting your work so it reaches the right audience and has the biggest impact possible.
I can get you dreaming again and give you back hope for the writing life which may have been lost under all the above misgoynistic crud.
I DON’T WANT ANY WOMAN WRITERS’ CREATIVITY TO BE CURTAILED ONE MORE DAY BY THE SHITTY NUMBER PATRIARCHY HAS DONE ON US.
I DON’T WANT 2019 TO BE ANOTHER YEAR WHEN MORE WOMEN SET ASIDE THEIR LITERARY TALENTS AND DREAMS AGAIN JUST BECAUSE OF THE CRAPPY MALE-DOMINATED SYSTEM WE WERE BORN INTO DEMANDS THEY DO MORE DOMESTIC AND CHILDCARE WORK AND TELLS US WOMEN’S NEEDS ARE SECONDARY.
I DON’T WANT ANOTHER YEAR TO GO BY WITH WOMEN NOT SHARING THEIR BRILLIANT STORIES, INSIGHTS AND IDEAS AND THE WORLD GETTING EVER MORE FILLED BY SEXISM, RACISM, HOMOPHOBIA, ABLEISM AND ALL OTHER NASTIES.
It serves patriarchy when you’re silent, don’t write, worry about your worth as an author, don’t submit or promote your books.
Then it has us exactly where it wants us.
In the kitchen, the bedroom, the carpool, most likely supporting a guy’s ambitions whilst our own dreams and needs wither on the vine.
I swear every time a woman’s book isn’t completed, isn’t published, isn’t marketed to reach the readers who need it, patriarchy laughs its fucking head off.
It means more agents and book deals for the boys.
And nothing changes.
And the little girls who, like me, already know they want to be writers, will face identical internal and external obstacles as we do know.
I don’t know about you, but that makes me so fucking mad.
The idea that even one woman might go to her grave with a fabulous, world-shaking novel, memoir or business book inside her which never got written is a tragedy in my view.
So I’m on this mission as a feminist writing coach to push patriarchy from the page.
I’m offering a free 30 minute chat if you need a pep talk on dealing with any of the ways patriarchy is messing with your writing life.
Believe me, having a published book is ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE and I want to help you get there.
Remember, we need you and your wonderful work now more than ever and you don’t need to do this alone.
Together, we rise faster.