Insecure Writers Support Group. So I am combining my strong women theme with IWSG.
My strong woman for today is a poet and writer from the Renaissance, Christine De Pizan. Married at 15 and widowed at 25, Christine faced a harsh life with two children, a mother and a niece to support and no income. This normally meant that one had to troll for another husband or start making a living as a prostitute. Not so with Christine. Her father, Thomas, had served Charles V as court astrologer, physician and alchemist. Because of this, she had the opportunity to pursue intellectual interests. And pursue she did, learning languages, art and writing.
She decided to take a chance and wrote some love poems. Her work caught the attention of a few very wealthy patrons and Christine was on her way. Between 1393 and 1412 she composed some three hundred ballads and shorter poems. But writing love poetry was not enough. In 1401-2, she wrote a treatise regarding the misogynistic treatment of women in one of the most popular literary works of the day, Jean du Meun's Romance of the Rose. This rebuke of du Meun cemented her as a leading intellectual and she continued to challenge the portrayal of women in literature. She went on to write The Book of the City of Ladies, which shows the importance of the contributions of women in society and The Book of the Three Virtues which teaches women how to counteract the misogyny they find.
IWSG is DEFY. As writers we often are told to study markets, see what's popular. Publishers have guidelines for us to follow to make sure our book will fit. This is all well and good, but never lose your voice or be afraid to ignore the conventions out there. Write the book you want and don't let anyone tell you differently. DEFY current thinking, forge ahead. Your audience is out there.
For more of the awesome participants in A to Z, please click here.