Just Tell Your Story: Four Women Writers Talk Of Challenges They Face
SheThePeople‘s FB Live today saw an informative, fun and reflective conversation featuring Kiran Manral, Apurva Purohit, Madhuri Banerjee and Meghna Pant. These kickass ladies discussed about writing and how it’s so essential, now more than ever, to have more women writers in the country.
The four engaged in an excellent discussion, revealing the tricks of the trade for both current and aspiring writers. Here are key takeaways from the conversation.
Why do we need more women writers?
1. They talked about the importance of building a strong women writers’ workforce and how it is women who understand women better. The conversation started with how some make excellent writers since their character narrations are multi-layered and realistic, especially when it comes to describing female characters. Women have the potential to outline characters in a multi-dimensional manner which many male authors fail to do so.
2. The talk highlighted how women across the country, even today, hold themselves back from writing and giving time to their skills due to the multiple levels of patriarchy they deal with. They want to be perfectionists. So they stop themselves from writing. Writing is not seen as profession per se. For many, writing as a profession is still not considered good enough.
3. The panel emphasised on having more women in terms of visibility in professions like writing, acting, directing, corporate, politics etc. The society has been bringing up daughters to be lesser than what they deserve. Therefore, girls grow up to occupy less space than they deserve and writing, this panel believes, is one way to reclaim that space.
Why do we need a women writers’ fest?
4. The discussion strongly backed platforms such as the women writers’ fests. An event like this has the power and approach to start multiple dialogues on professional writing, motherhood, feminism, women in workforce, parenting etc. which women deal with each day.
5. The conversation, which also took various humorous turns, reflected on the stereotypes still attached with female characters from books to television to theatre and films. The panel agreed on the change that’s waving through with some strong female characters taking lead. However, they believed the space is limited and not fully utilised.
6. Also, the topic of credibility, that hovered only male writers, was brought up. The kind of backing male writers get is way more than what women writers come across. There also is a bias beyond literature.
7. The panel advised aspiring writers that while deciding how to begin, they need to define where they hold maximum interest. Whether it’s for GEC shows, web series, blogs, or books, one needs to define the target audience. This, sure, is a useful tip.
Marketing and endorsing
8. Battles with marketing and PR were up for discussion too. How male author are marketed so well and female authors have to struggle for visibility in the marketing and distribution industry.
Freeing oneself from labels
9. The four also spoke about their books and their ordeals surrounding their genres, book covers, branding and slotting. They spoke about the annoying feeling of being categorised and how one must push harder to have a say.
10. The panel encouraged aspiring women writers to keep writing. “Nothing should deter you from writing. Just tell your story,” the panel concluded.
The women writers’ fest is all set to take place on September 1 and September 8 in Bengaluru and Pune respectively. Cheers to women authors!
I have bought mine!