September 15, 2022

Elephant & Me.

My relationship with Elephant started slowly—unusual for me. 

It just started gently appearing on my Facebook feed. Sometimes an article beckoned, and I read it. Other times not. But the more I read, the more offerings appeared on my feed. I started to take notice.

I was right at the beginning of my writing life. Thinking for the first time, I’d like to be a writer.

I started taking courses. One memorable morning at Hadley’s Hotel I was in a workshop with Benjamin Law, a prominent Australian journalist. “What are your goals?” he asked. Without hesitation, I said, “I want to write for Elephant Journal.”

I was astonished! No one else in the room knew Elephant. I enlightened them as best I could.

I didn’t know how I was going to achieve this goal. I had no idea about Grassroots or the Academy. I clicked on “Write” and timidly submitted my first piece to the editors. They suggested some changes, which I made, and then posted the piece on Grassroots. There it stayed.

I obsessively followed its progress, but it achieved little. Disheartened, I didn’t submit again for nearly three years. But I had subscribed and would read my daily newsletter with growing frustration that I was not one of the writers whose words greeted me each morning.

I started seeing ads for the Write Your Heart Out course, and in 2021 I enrolled. 

Since then, I have written countless articles, most of which have been promoted, some of which have been Ecosystem winners. But it’s never been about the money. Elephant has allowed me to spread my wings and fly. From my first articles about living with cancer, I have moved on to politics, body positivity, spirituality, and opinion pieces about anything I see that rattles my cage.

Thanks to Elephant, I write for change.

Thanks to Elephant, I now consider myself a writer.

Thanks to Elephant, I feel part of a community.

Oh, the community! It welcomes, nurtures, values, and appreciates. I love this community—not just for what it gives me, but also for what I can give back.

Last year, I was a Mentor for an Academy session. What can I say? One of my all time great experiences. I loved the whole process of helping others to find their voice, and encouraging their stories to sing. I felt then, and still feel now, that I have a real and lasting place in the Ele-community. I have found my tribe.

Big thanks to Waylon, all the editors, my fellow writers, and everyone else who has made this community possible. Change is always hard. But it can be exciting too.

Elephant, I’m looking forward to the next chapter!

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