Writing to inspire

One of the sessions I’m really looking forward to in this years session of Creatives Academy is the one on “Writing to Inspire.” The title of the session was inspired (pun intended) by last years discussion of motivational writing in different sessions with Anthony Gitonga, Bonnie Kim and Winnie Thuku-Craig. And Anthony noted, it’s not only fiction that qualifies as creative writing. Even motivational writing can be creative.

Winnie Thuku-Craig (picture courtesy of the East African Standard)

In women’s writing, the inspiration comes from them being brave enough to share their pain as they were through challenges in life. Last year, Winnie told us that after writing her miraculous survival of difficult pregnancy, and her difficult relationship, women going through similar circumstances called her for encouragement and even advice.

This year, we will have Doris Mayoli, a great woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer just around the time her marriage broke down, and then triumphed over the disease. Doris kept a journal throughout her treatment, and later published her book From Ashes to Beauty. Since then, she has been able to encourage many others – myself included – as they walk through cancer treatment.

Doris Mayoli (Picture courtesy of the Africa Cancer Foundation)

As women, our femininity is attached to our physical appearance (our breasts, our hair), and our ability to give birth to children. It therefore takes double courage to publicly share experiences like breast cancer, or the chemo that makes our hair fall off, or losing our pregnancies. So when we write about it, as these women have done, we encourage many others to see that suffering doesn’t have to break us; in fact, it makes us whole.

So come and participate in the discussion about how to tell our stories and encourage others.

See you in two weeks!


Links: Read more about Doris and Winnie

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