We collaborated with Inflections Magazine to bring you our tips on getting into writing as a young woman.
So you want to be a writer...great! Are you wondering where to start? How to get your voice heard amongst the cacophony clamoring on the internet? How to ensure YOUR voice stands out and is heard? Well, look no further than here for your starting point. Inflections Magazine and Lavande have collaborated to provide you with advice we have collected over the years as we’ve managed our own writing, online magazines, and lives.
Inflections and Lavande are female owned and operated online magazines. Both of our magazines were founded with the intention and drive to create internet space for women to inspire, learn, and be heard through writing. Technological advancements have created so many new opportunities for women to finally level the playing field. However, it can be difficult to navigate how one can best take advantage of such opportunities. In this article we want to give back some of what we’ve learned over the course of our writing journeys to encourage other young women to find their own confidence in writing and sharing their voice. Here, you can find some of our tips, with Maya from Inflections' advice in pink and Bridie from Lavande's in purple.
1. Don’t let anyone (especially men) tell you that you cannot make it as a writer or anything else you want to do for that matter. Inflections Magazine was partly founded as a response to an ex-boyfriend telling me I’d never make it as a writer. Now, I have a successful international online magazine, years of experience as a writer, and, luckily, much better taste in men.
2. Female voices are too often dismissed, ignored or drowned out, and it can be difficult for women to find their way into important or difficult conversations. Journalism, especially particular areas of journalism like current affairs and politics, are male dominated. While this may seem intimidating as a young woman, don’t let it put you off. You have every right to have your voice heard.
3. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s unfeminine or not your place to speak up, have strong opinions, or take up space.? Don’t anyone make you feel as though your opinions are lesser than theirs.
4. If you want to be a writer, you have to write, write, write. Go out, buy yourself a beautiful black notebook and pen, and literally write down everything about your life. No detail is too small; appointments, emotions, to-do lists, notes, poems, random thoughts. If this still feels a bit intimidating, try starting with a few simple writing prompts to get the ball rolling. Eventually it will become a habit and then it will develop into a skill that will help you find your voice as a writer.
5. Compete with the noise. There’s obviously a lot of content on the internet and it can be difficult to stand out. As long as you write genuinely and passionately about things that you care about, you already have a good chance of standing out.
6. Don’t be afraid to try - not everything turns out excellent but if you don’t try you won’t get better. Better to throw something out because it sucks than to have too many unexplored ideas that get lost.
7. You have to believe in yourself. No one is going to stand up for your ideas, you have to learn how to be your own best advocate. Don’t be too hard on yourself but also don’t give up on yourself either. Rejection is a natural part of the process. Look at it as an opportunity to learn, never as a setback.
8. Support other female writers and it’s likely that they’ll want to support you too. Other women are not always your competition - we’ve got to stick together and work together! I have had so many lovely experiences with wonderful and talented women who have supported my work, and I am so grateful for this.
We hope these tips will inspire you to pursue any aspirations you may have as a female writer, because if there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that your voice is worthy of attention and value. Both Inflections Magazine and Lavande are open, safe spaces that will always support female writers, but if you’re looking for further opportunities, some female-led publications to support and contribute to are: In Full Bloom Magazine, BlogXplore Magazine, Painted Faces Co., navigate zine and Refracted Magazine. Another amazing community worth checking out and joining is Gals in Journalism on Instagram and Facebook. There are so many great communities of female writers to get involved with to improve your skills and expand your portfolio. We hope you enjoy exploring the endless possibilities that are out there for you.