Dear friends and readers,
Throughout my adult life, I have found joy in volunteering for different nonprofits. This has included giving tours of Portland, Maine’s oldest cemetery, being a foster cat mom, being a trainwoman on the Portland Narrow Gauge Railroad, working at the library bookstore, and teaching computers to seniors. There is something satisfying to me in spending my time contributing to places that I love and causes that I care about. Writing is something I have cared about since I can remember. The earliest evidence I have of my own writing is from 1994; when I was five years old I wrote a short one page story. In this last year, from July 2017 to July 2018, with the considerable help of others, I have been able to combine these two joys of mine: writing, and volunteering, as I have never done before. I would like to share a little of that with you.
In July 2017, a comics creator and writer named Claire Napier sent out a call on Twitter for volunteer writers who would be interested in covering comics news for the Eisner-nominated comics journalism website Women Write About Comics. Claire was one of several editors for WWAC at the time, and responded positively to my Twitter reply. When I spoke up, I was given access to an opportunity. I wanted to prove to myself that I could write something worth publishing. One year ago today, that very first post of mine was published.
Since then, WWAC and other sites in the Bleating Heart Press community have coached, edited, taught, and pushed me. I have grown as a consistent writer in ways that I could never imagine. In the last year, I have written 45 articles for WWAC, 8 articles for Ms. En Scene, 7 articles for Sidequest.Zone, and 5 articles for Popularly Positive. I have interviewed over a dozen creators whose work I deeply admire and respect. I have been able to connect with women in ways that I never thought possible, and explore writing and intersectional feminism. I have been inspired to polish and submit a manuscript novella draft to a publisher. I have a real essay in a real indie sci-fi comic book about a badass space artifact collector called Dash Dearborne (you should go buy it). I am so happy to be writing. I am so proud to be a part of the community.
When I look back at those numbers, those influences, and those opportunities, they seem enormous to me, a person who previously wrote a few short stories for herself per year and (maybe) finished half a novel manuscript during NaNoWriMo, and then set all of that aside and didn’t do anything with it. Without the immense support of people like Claire, Megan, Nola, Wendy, Kat, Clara, Melissa, Naseem, Sara, and Rosie, I would never have been able to do this. I wouldn’t be able to continue to do it. I would not have the hope that I have for the future, the hope that maybe someday, just maybe, I could be a full time writer and novelist. My heroes are teaching me how to create with quality, care, and thoughtfulness. I can’t think of a better place to be in as a writer.
Thank you for reading. I am grateful to every reader, every editor, every creator, every publisher, and every Twitter friend who has taken the time to interact with me and to help me write this last year. Your positive impact is felt every day.