I don’t typically write personal essays, but in honour of yeah write’s special day I am about to get all up in my own business and tell you about how I came to be the speakeasy’s managing editor.
2012 was a really bad year for me. It was the year of my ectopic pregnancy, which culminated in having to knowingly kill the life that was trying to grow in the wrong part of my body before it killed me, followed by having to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to have any more children. My son is amazing and I thank my lucky stars for him every day, but as someone who always imagined a house overflowing with children, this was a hard truth to swallow. On top of that, as someone whose life had been consumed by the trials and tribulations of infertility for so long, I found myself at the dead end of an ugly road I’d never wanted to be on in the first place.
For a while, I wallowed in the mud at the absolute bottom of my life. But I’m not cut out for long-term wallowing; I never have been. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and decided it was time to get to know the mud-encrusted person I’d become. That quest led to the birth of my blog, and in January 2013, a mysterious woman named Flood lured me to the speakeasy. Flood was the speakeasy’s managing editor at the time, and she also happens to be a fellow Ottawan. We became friends and I became a speakeasy devotee.
The speakeasy challenged me, inspired me, and made me a better writer. I started taking risks, both in my writing and in my personal life. I made new friends, I went zip-lining, and I wrote stories I didn’t even know I had in me.
Then, last summer, Flood asked me if I was interested in taking over as the speakeasy’s managing editor. I said yes. Okay, I might have yelled yes repeatedly while dancing around my kitchen. Either way, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
See, the team of editors here at yeah write are some of the loveliest, funniest, smartest, kindest, craziest, most creative, and most talented people I’ve ever met. You will never find a more committed bunch of people outside of an asylum. And every week, we work together to bring you the kind of challenges that actually challenge you—as writers and as human beings.
For me, the speakeasy is a labour of love. Each week, my awesome team puts together the prompts, the posts, and the Inlinkz grid. We answer emails, promote your submissions on social media, respond to comments, and troubleshoot technical issues. We read the submissions and discuss our choices for Editors’ Pick. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we beat our heads against the wall, but we’re always ready to do it all again the following week.
When I think about how I came to be the managing editor at the speakeasy, I can’t help thinking about that miserable place at the bottom of my life. It makes me thankful I’m not inclined to wallow.
There’s a moral in here. It’s simple and it’s true: Life can hand your ass to you when you least expect it. You have to decide if you’re going to wallow or if you’re going to drag your ass out of the mud and beat your own path into the future.
We’ll be waiting for you at yeah write when you do.
Thanks to all my fellow editors—and all of the participants from both challenges—
for making yeah write such a fantastic place to be!
Image credit: Nigel Dennis Wildlife Photography