Shine on, sisters

The wall by my desk in the Global Sisters Report office has been blank for more than a year. But I have plans for what’s going to fill the space. At least sort of. I would like one of two prints – either this fabulous one from Etsy or one based on this image, albeit with more gold because that part is crucial.

I consider both quotes (“Every day I’m hustling” and “I don’t shine if you don’t shine,” for those of you who did not click the links) to be life mottos.

The former encapsulates what my life, as a professional woman in her 20s, looks like right now – which is journalism-ing all the time. Admittedly, some of that is because I’m off-the-scales Type-A, but a lot of it is also because there are so many cool things to be a part of these days. So, I say yes to waking up at 4 a.m. in order to record the occasional podcast. And I say yes to spending many, many (many, many, many) hours before and after work helping to code a searchable directory of freelance writers of color. It’s a hustle, but I love it.

The second quote, “I don’t shine if you don’t shine,” is a rather new motto for me. I’m not sure who coined the actual phrasing, but the idea comes from a collaboration between Ann Friedman, one of my favorite journalists, and her best friend, tech guru Aminatou Sow. Their theory, the Shine Theory, calls into question the idea that women should compete against each other. Instead, they posit that women – even women in the same field – should champion each other and celebrate other women’s successes. Because when your friends do well, you do well by association. Women should want to be surrounded by high-achieving women their field, not shunning them as competition. I don’t shine if you don’t shine.

In the year or so since I adopted Shine Theory, I’ve been more intentional about supporting other female writers. It’s not that I was cutthroat and ruthless before (at least not to my knowledge), but now, when I see fellow lady journos doing excellent work, I make it a point to share it with my networks and to send them encouragement and felicitations as appropriate. My interpretation of Shine Theory also means that I try to help freelancers write for Global Sisters Report if that’s something they want to do.

This week’s piece by Renée Gadoua on Alzheimer’s and the Nun Study is the fruit of one of these attempts. I promise I’m not trying to brag; I’m just thrilled that it worked out so well. I used to be a freelancer, so I know how hard it can be to get an editor’s attention, which is necessary if you want to work. And eat. And live. All that stuff. It can help if someone on staff at a publication can make an introduction for you, and Shine Theory Dawn relishes in the ability to that for people when it seems like GSR and the writer will be a good fit. 

If you haven’t read Renée’s story, you should do that because it’s really good. And if you have ideas about my future wall art, email or tweet me your suggestions!

[Dawn Cherie Araujo is staff reporter for Global Sisters Report based in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow her on Twitter @Dawn_Cherie.]