In a few hours, it will be 2018. As I reflect on this past year, I am thankful for the blessings, the lessons, the challenges, the highs, lows and the grace to endure. In many ways, this was my best year and I am excited about the personal and professional direction I am stepping into in 2018.
On the 15th December, FemmePowered turned three. I didn’t share anything on the blog or social media as I have done in previous years because the mood that came and went with the day was introspective. And I was not reflecting on my journey as a broken and battered woman blogging to make sense of the pain and shame associated with her broken body and heart, thanks to an abusive marriage. Instead, I was reflecting on how much meaning FemmePowered has made for individuals and the community, and I was thinking of ways to do more. You see the moment others identified with my story, FemmePowered stopped being a personal blog but a safe space for others, no matter their story.
I want FemmePowered to become bigger than me. There’s so much more to be done, much more stories to tell, more people to reach. But the reality is that to date, with the exception of The Connection giving me a space for Cocktails & Conversations (thank you, Sue!), the efforts are self-funded. Putting on events, even to maintain this blog space has a cost. And the money factor makes it challenging to do more. I feel like my heart is leading me to transition FemmePowered to a non-profit so I can get access funding and get corporate partners to help further the work I would like to do. This will result in FemmePowered becoming a space that focuses solely on events, outreach, and workshops that empower women and transform the community. If I go in this direction, it will mean that there’ll be less personal blogging here from me. I may need to shrink to make this space bigger.
The pages afforded glimpses into my soul where I’d hidden it, behind masks of paper and ink – Rachel Schade
But I won’t stop writing. I won’t let my words die. Besides, it’s how many of you found me. Writing, journaling, personal storytelling, all help me to make sense of myself and the world around me. I need to write as I need to breathe. And whilst I may do many things to support myself that may not have anything to do with writing, I am a writer. It is my default, my coping mechanism, the way the Spirit speaks to me, and it helps me face my conscience.
From January 13, I will be sharing my words and heart in a new space that’s all about my writing and the work that will come from creating a space that honors the writer in me. You’re free to meet me there and be a part of that new space. Just enter your name and email in the form below and you will be notified of the launch. It’s the only way you’ll know about the space and get access to the content there as I won’t be sharing it on social media or here at FemmePowered. On my new space, you’ll find deeply personal pieces, reflective pieces, short stories, pieces I’ve published in magazines, other publications, and more. I’ll also be taking some of my writing from FemmePowered along with me. I’m excited about the new space and how it will stretch me as a writer and creative.
I challenge you to make time and space to honor your gifts and the things that make you feel alive. It could be swimming, gardening, painting, or in my case writing. It will add so much to your life in ways you won’t even imagine. Just trust me on this!
To all of you who’ve supported my work through FemmePowered, thank you. You have been a part of my journey and have strengthened me in ways you won’t begin to imagine. From emailing a message of support, giving your time to attend my events, re-sharing and liking my blogs or social media content, I appreciate it all. The love has been real. Have a happy new year and all good things in 2018.
Grace and love
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.