Why I Started Blogging

My Halloween costume from a few years ago. Clearly, I’ve always had a thing women’s history.

I came up with the idea for Let’s Hear It For The Girl over a year ago. Despite buying a domain name and having a website designed almost immediately, I only published my first post five days ago.

At the beginning of 2016 I moved to a city I did not know. Drama ensued with my flatting arrangement, I started working as a law clerk and spent my first few months confused and a little scared. I frantically completed assignments and exams to be admitted to the bar, and desperately tried to navigate my way around the hill-iest, windy-est city in the world.

I was overwhelmed. So I decided to hold off on the website until I was admitted to the bar. Following admission in September I was kept busy with brunch dates, hot yoga classes and planning an amazing Harry Potter party at work. I could have made time to start writing but I failed to do so. My lack of motivation was partly due to my belief that the conversation did not require my voice. Women’s history, feminism and women’s issues were being discussed by people far more intelligent and entitled to do so than myself. I was also scared. The enormity of the project weighed heavily upon me. I did not want to offend anyone, embarrass myself, fail to commit properly or accidentally produce a white-washed, privileged blog.

Then the 2016 election happened.

For the last six years or so, I believed the USA’s time for a Madame President was upon us. When Hillary did not win I had to come to terms with the question mark that now hangs over when that will be. I spent a week in mourning. Then realised I had been wrong in thinking this conversation did not require my voice. Now was not the time to slack off having these discussions. Even though I felt grossly unprepared and unqualified, I felt motivated to do something.  So I dusted off my plans to begin Let’s Hear It For The Girl.

The night before I planned to hit publish, an earthquake struck New Zealand that sent my apartment building rocking and rolling. Despite living through the Canterbury quakes of 2010 and 2011, the 2016 quake left me genuinely afraid for my life. I thought the fear would drive me insane and I contemplated leaving Wellington to return home. I was evacuated from my concrete slab of an apartment block, and taken in by a group of friends, who lived so far out of town no one had heard of the suburb I was living in. I spent the rest of 2016 grappling with the bus system, waking up early and getting home late. At this point I knew Let’s Hear It For The Girl would not be launched in 2016.

In light of all of these delays and hesitations, Let’s Hear It For The Girl would not be live today if not for the pact I made with a lifelong friend, Daisy. We became friends when we started intermediate together at 11 years old and have been kindred spirits through high school, university and beyond. Our friendship was fuelled by chicken nuggets, coffee and cake catch-ups, as well as our differences. She loved Simple Plan, space and number plates. I loved Hilary Duff, glitter and Jane Austen. Not much has changed. Our arrangement was threatened when Daisy moved to Canada in 2015. Before she moved we frequently discussed our plans to stay in touch. I wanted to hand write letters, but Daisy felt this went too far. As a compromise we decided to exchange emails instead.

In June 2016 I received a message from Daisy sharing her brutal realisation that we were just over one year away from turning 25. Turning a quarter of a century old is an amazing motivator for two overachievers. Daisy proposed we each write a list of 24 things we wanted to achieve before we turned 25. We would exchange lists and hold each other accountable. One of my goals was to start and maintain this blog. I knew Daisy would hold me accountable to this goal in particular. She has always supported my writing (since she listened to me read my creative writing assignment aloud in english class when were 15 when no one else would listen, despite our teacher’s protests). But more importantly she knows how much this specific idea means to me.

In January I spent time thinking about my progress through my 24 goals. Deep down I knew the most important one on the list was the one I was actively finding reasons to avoid. I realised if you do not make yourself take action you will always find reasons to wait. So I seized the moment and decided to just hit publish. And the rest is history.

I know writing a blog is challenging. I have tried it before. It is hard to put yourself out there and have other people know what you are thinking and caring about. On top of that, it is difficult to be disciplined enough to regularly post, this is a side hustle after all.

However, with the events of the past year, and events from my own personal history in mind, all the excuses and hesitation in the world cannot stop me now. I cannot do much but I can tell women’s stories. I can have discussions about feminism and women’s rights. I can run this platform and contribute to the conversation. I can keep writing about what matters to me until we live in a fairer world.

Thank you for your support during launch week. I am determined this is only the beginning.

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