I Won! I Won! I Won!

I won. I won. I won!!!! I was the Elephant Journal writer with the most readers/views for the month of November.
Elephant winners
I don’t mean that it’s because I got paid – even though I happy cried for rent and Christmas being covered this month. It’s nice to get paid for the writing as well as to write for social change and from the heart and soul because we writers must.
But I won because I am ONE of the seriously CRUSHING it WOMEN at Elephant Journal. Every single one of the top writers on the list for November is female. Together, we wrote about a HUGE variety of topics and were read by over 5 million! We took on social issues, matters of love, family and the environment.
I’m honored to be part of this tribe of women. Monika Carless and Hilda Carroll and Kimberly Lo and Carmelene Melanie Siani and Katie Vessel and Kate Rose and Elayne Elyane S Youssef and Sara Rodriguez and Ruth Lera and Dina Strada and Lindsay Carricarte and Jessie Wright and Michelle Margaret Fajkus and Jamie Khoo who isn’t on this list but who may have had the single most viewers ever on Elephant.
And Elephant did well making their number too so Waylon Lewis has got to be pretty happy too for all he created.
I used to say, “I’ll never get the top spot writing what I write about.” And I admit I tried to write about more highly viewed topics, tried to write more sexy. To be honest, it totally jacked up my view count but I didn’t feel good about what I was writing. I don’t write fcropped-HealWriteNowLogoEARTH.pngor views (though I do love to get paid and that’s a huge part of what determines pay). But I just returned to writing what I must write and leaving other topics to those who must write about those topics. Who do so beautifully and passionately because it’s what they must write about.
It’s not what I must write about – at least not at this point.

I always have to write what speaks to my soul. And so I did. And that’s why I won. I won because I got to be one of the amazing women at Elephant writing true.

I wrote about issues important to me and from my soul. About sexual violence, about traumatic stress relapse, about finding out my father passed, about the culture we live in and advertising. And about joy and simplicity and Adele and Brené Brown.
Five pieces were staff-picked. FIVE.
  1. Mary Oliver’s Felicity
  2. The Moon is in… Shut Up!
  3. The Oatmeal’s “It’s Going to Be Okay.”
  4. Forget-Me-Not Father
  5. F*ck the Starbucks Coffee Cup & Let’s Get Real about the Bloomingdale’s Rape Ad
Except for the last one, most weren’t high view counts but they were appreciated by editors and close to my heart and reached some people. The one about my father came from my soul.
As did the one about post-traumatic relapse.
It felt nice to be “picked” by staff. It felt nice to have people say, “Now I know what post-traumatic relapse is.”
Thanks to Cat Beekmans and Renée Picard and Toby Israel and Yoli Ramazzina and Khara-Jade Warren and ALL the amazing editors at Elephant. They do a TON of work!
And so many people write so well who aren’t on this list Elephant published. Writing is fuck-ton of work and rarely pays much if at all.
I mean it pays in in glorious non bill paying ways but that doesn’t help with groceries.
No cashier has ever said, “I saw your piece. I’m not going to ring you up.”

Not ever.
So it’s a big deal to get a pay check. It may never happen again. It’s kind of random what goes viral. I know that. I got paid more for last month than in all the time at Elephant combined. It makes me happy. And relieved.

But it’s also a big deal even when there’s no pay because we can break silence and shine lights and speak truth and I am grateful for that every single time.

For that, I’ll take the “platform” and being able to choose the topics I write about. I’ll take the trade off of no or low pay. 
But it doesn’t mean money doesn’t feel just fabulous. It does. And totally selfishly, to win in a women killing it and writing about so many social and political issues is extra awesome.
I see the elephant in the Elephant Journal logo and I see Wonder Woman bangles everywhere. Even on her trunk!
The elephant is roaring for women and women are roaring it up as Elephant writers and editors.
Thanks for EVERYONE who read a single word, who commented or connected or cared or shared. You’re kind of the reason any writer writes. You’re the one many of us write to and for and with in our hearts and mind. 
And the culture is changing. Shame and silence are being blasted through every single second!
Yes! Yes. Yes!
That’s the big win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You Matter Mantras

  • Trauma sucks. You don't.
  • Write to express not to impress.
  • It's not trauma informed if it's not informed by trauma survivors.
  • Breathing isn't optional.

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