A Virtual Toast To My Community Of Women Writers

community of womenYesterday I posted on the changes afoot over at Politics Daily and their practical implications for freelance writers like myself in forcing us to be more enterprising.

Today I wanted to address the emotional side of that equation.

As I think I’ve mentioned at several points over the past couple of years, I’ve had an absolute blast working at Politics Daily. When I started there, I’d taken a few years off from journalism to write a novel and launch this blog. So it felt great to roll up my sleeves and dive back into the brainstorming, research and reporting that goes into being a journalist. It was also a lot of fun to return to the sorts of international topics that I once taught and wrote about as a scholar.

And because the website was starting from scratch as a player in Online political journalism, I got to learn by doing about this thing we call ” new journalism” and all of the social media tools and 24/7 news frenzy that goes with it.

In short, it has been – and continues to be – a great learning and growth experience for me professionally.

Above all, however, the main reason that I have loved working at Politics Daily has been the community that grew up around it. It’s true of the publication as a whole and its top-notch columnists and editors. What a super crew. And it’s especially true of my little corner of the world there: Woman Up.

You’ve seen a lot of the work I’ve done for them over the past two years on this very page:  stories about the economics of abortion and the reality of socialized medicine as well as why I think it’s time to life the Cuba embargo and the connection between universities and terrorism.

But what you don’t see is the lovely and supportive community of women that’s grown up behind that space along the way. Most of us didn’t know each other before Woman Up began. Now we chat constantly with each other On line. We share story ideas. We laugh. We argue. We write.

I wrote a  post a few weeks back on this blog about the importance of making real-life friends. Woman Up has by in large been a virtual community of friends for me (although I did have the enormous pleasure of meeting many of the ladies in person at a cocktail party in Washington, D.C. over the holidays.) But even as a virtual coffee clutch, it’s been a vital part of my social and intellectual life for the past few years.

This virtual cocktail party (did you notice how I just seamlessly escalated us from coffee to vodka?) may now come to an end, at least in its present incarnation. We’ll know for sure soon. But even if it carries on under a different banner, it will likely be different.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like change, after all. And the only thing that’s constant in life is change, so they say. But regardless of how things shape up in the future, I’m incredibly grateful to have been a part of this fine group of female journalists.

As I live in London, we  normally “raise a glass” on occasions like this and say “Cheers.”

But my Irish grandmother always said it in Gaelic: “Slainte.”

So Slainte, ladies. It’s been a great ride.

May it continue.

Image: Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

  • Reply marriagecoach1

    February 11, 2011, 12:19 am

    Let me jab at you a little and the state of today’s yellow dog journalims. Balance seems to be missing on especially political columns. For example, Global warming theory (although journalists incorrectly never report it as s theory, it has not been proven according to the scientific method) Editors flout printed canons of journalistic integrity.

    In other professions, violating ethics can get you kicked out of the profession but in journalims, it is all voluntary.

    I have sent out over 200 queries to editors on my scientific refutation of anthropogenic global warming written for the masses. They either ignore my queries or send me nasty notes or propose that I send them a positive affirming story on global warming which they will gladly publish.

    Our federal government violates the Scientific Method in funding global warming research. There are no control studies for example as in legitimate scientific research.

    We had a Senate subcommittee hearing with over 500 scientists in attendance all claiming that global warming is a hoax and being black balled in scientific journals. You won’t find that in the lame stream media.

    The latest polls indicate that the public has just a 19% approval rating of the media.

    This is because sadly we have seen a modern day renaissance of the old Yellow Dog Journalism. A couple of years ago, Editor and Publisher ran a column by Steve Outing suggesting that newspapers abandon balance and just report global warming as a fact. I sent a complaint letter to the editor that he did not even bother to respond to.

    If you have any curiosity at all, I would be glad to send you my scientific refuation of anthropogenic global warming.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  • Reply daryl boylan

    February 12, 2011, 12:10 pm

    What on earth has this rant to do with the blog on your community of women writers?? I guess any straw can be graspable to the needy.

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