Who We Are, What We Represent, Why We Exist
I wanted to take an opportunity to tell you a little more about ReproJustice. Who we are, what we represent, why we exist.
The idea to start a blog that empowers women came to me while trying to fall asleep one night. Unfortunately for me (and anyone who has ever had to share a bed with me), my brain comes alive when the rest of the world is still; the wheels start turning, the gears start grinding, and my ideas start flowing.
After the disappointing election (yeah that one), I felt like I had to do something to fight back. Like a lot of enraged people, I wasn't exactly sure what that meant.
- I am just one person. Anything I do will barely have an impact. Therefore, I won't do anything.
- I don't have any special skills to lead the resistance. Protesting really isn't my thing (and big crowds exhaust me.) Furthermore, I barely make enough to support myself and live a comfortable life, I can't afford to donate any money.
- When I see a funny John Oliver clip or I read an interesting article, I always share it on my Facebook wall. That counts for something, right?
I will admit, all of these self-defeating thoughts have gone through my head at one time or another. But the feeling to “fight back” never went away. In fact, every day I didn’t do “something”, the urge got stronger.
Document My Existence
Now before I jump into why I started ReproJustice, I want to give you a brief background of myself. I’ve always been a “writer”. Since the time I’ve been big enough to hold a pen, I’ve been keeping journals. I can’t explain why, but for some reason, I’ve always felt compelled to document my existence. Up until a few months ago, I never really questioned who I was writing for. I just felt like I had to do it. I used my writings as my therapy. “Dumping” was cathartic. Sometimes the thoughts become so loud, pounding on my brain, keeping me awake, that the only way to quiet my ideas is to get them onto paper. Only once they were released into the world, and out of my brain, did I start to relax. I could finally detach myself from the debilitating hold they had on me moments before.
Soulless Ghost Writing
Growing up, it never dawned on me that I could make a living from writing. It probably had something to do with the stereotype of being a writer. When you think of being a “writer” it likely evokes images of being a depressive, recluse with some sort of drug or alcohol addiction and absolutely no grip on reality. So upon graduation, I didn’t pursue this career path. Instead, like many recent college graduates, I went a different, more soulless route, ghost writing; I wrote press releases for restaurant openings, product descriptions for vintage furniture, and even wrote an e-book about taxes. Ha!
Currently, I manage the online presence of brands and entities (I write blogs, newsletters, social media posts, biographies, etc. on behalf of my clients.) While I’ve learned to love adopting a voice for a new client, and becoming an expert in a variety of industries (I have clients who are authors, lawyers, and small business owners), I still wasn’t completely fulfilled.
- I continued to jot down random notes or revelations in my iPhone.
- I continued to “dump” noisy thoughts into my journal late at night.
- I continued to write my monthly blog on my company website.
It wasn’t until I started writing for a popular lifestyle blog in Berlin, that I began to really blossom as a writer. For the first time, I was given an opportunity to write my own experiences, in my own voice (no censorship y’all!), for a blog that already had thousands of followers. Needless to say, I was equally excited and scared out of my mind.
Frank Schröder, the founder of the blog, responded to my email inquiring about guest posting right away. He liked my story pitch and was eager to read the final piece. I started writing ferociously. Since I had been living in Berlin for 1.5 years at the time, I had been collecting my fair share of funny stories along the way. When the final piece was ready, I was a big ball of nerves. Would he like it? Writing was the easy part. Editing was the fun part. Hitting send was the scary part. That's when I started to second-guess myself hardcore. I was full of self-doubt.
- What if no one understood my humor?
- What if people left mean comments?
- What if no one could relate?
Well, let me tell you what happened next. Once my first piece was published I felt the happiest, most confident I had ever felt in my whole entire life. For the most part, I got positive feedback from the article (which made me feel inspired), but more than that, I felt that this experience had ignited some fire inside of me. It was at this moment that I began to understand that my "gift to the world", my "weapon of choice", my "tool for inspiration", my "skill to lead the resistance" was writing. I was addicted and couldn’t wait to write MORE pieces.
I had no idea that going public with my writing would change my life in other ways also. I began to feel more sure of myself. I began to stand up for myself. I began cutting negative energies, people, and forces from my life and instead focused on nourishing the positive souls that continuously danced around me, lifting me up, and inspiring me daily. Furthermore, putting my thoughts, feelings, and experiences out there in the open, solidified the trust I had for myself as well as deepened the relationship I had with myself.
And that’s where the basis for ReproJustice comes from. Now I knew, firsthand, the positive effects that telling my story had on me. I began to see the world differently. Instead of dwelling on the negativity swirling around me, I began to zone in on the beauty. What if every woman could feel this way? How would she then impact her community, society, humanity? When I started to think about all the inspiring women I knew, just in my little circle, I began to get so excited.
- I wanted to empower women writers by giving them a platform to share their stories.
- I wanted to shine light on women who are working hard to empower other women.
- I wanted to showcase woman-made products and woman-run organizations.
- I wanted every single woman to feel the surge of confidence I felt after sharing my writing publicly.
I don't know exactly what will come of this little blog in the future. Though I have big hopes and dreams for it, I can only devote a small amount of time to nourishing it (since it doesn't pay the bills.) However, every time I receive a guest submission from a badass lady writer, I feel inspired once again.
At the end of the day, if I have ignited one fire, in one woman, then this will all be worth it. Empowered women have the strength to transform entire communities, wake up the sleepiest of souls, and heal the world. There is absoultely nothing I am more sure of.
Article by Nicole, Nico New Media
*image by Brooke Lark