What better way to celebrate than with International Women’s Day writing ideas for honoring the women in your life or in your past.
I’d hoped to publish a post about my Great Aunt Margaret Case Crymes. The post isn’t finished yet. However, as I dug into it, I realized there are a multitude of angles to approach a story about this trailblazer in our family.
International Women’s Day Writing Ideas
The following Ideas came out of writing about my great-aunt.
Show side-by-side timelines of her life and world events.
Aunt Margaret witnessed most of the 20th century, so I generated a timeline for her lifespan on OurTimeLines.com. I see, for example, that in 1925 as she began working for her husband to be, the Scopes trial on Evolutionary Theory was taking place.
For more information about creating timelines, see The Best Timeline Programs for Writing and Family Storytelling.
Explain the mystique. What do you wish you knew about this woman?
My list is long and is looking more like a research question log than introspective brainstorm. But taking a step back, I realize that I’m missing an enormous piece of her personality. Family tradition and her obituary state she practiced law for 55 years.
Of course I want to know when the Virginia Bar Association admitted her (and I have written the clerk for more information), but what I also wonder is what in her background made her such as self-assured woman. Who supported and empowered her?
Describe what tails she blazed.
The women we love and respect don’t have to have achieved international fame to be role models to us. What about her made her different? How did she break the mold?
For instance, though Aunt Margaret has a grave marker in the Tussekiah Baptist Church Cemetery in Lunenburg County, Virginia, she was never buried. She donated her body to science. It’s an interesting jumping off point to speculate about (and research) her interest in science and health care.
You can also draw parallels between this woman and your own life. How did you approach hurdles in similar manners? How have you handled things differently than she did? What character traits do the two of you have in common?
Explain why you admire this woman.
Her achievements do not necessarily speak for themselves. Perhaps you are awed by her personal achievements, but that’s not the root of your admiration.
I think the thing about Aunt Margaret that most tugs at my heart is her close relationship with my grandmother. They came from very different backgrounds, yet Aunt Margaret and her husband appear to have been close with my grandparents. My evidence for that is that among the handful of photos passed down to us, three include Aunt Margaret.
Write about your own memories.
If you have a relationship with her, write about your memories of her. Personal memories will always connect others with the past.
Research her context.
This is my perennial recommendation. Write about the world she lived in, both globally and locally.
Describe her circumstances. What stereotypes would she have faced? What laws limited her progress? How was she situated economically? Were there events which may have inspired her?
See 6 Ways to Highlight the Women in your Family Tree When Facts are Few for more about context, including emotional context.
Think and write about some unknowables, such as one of the following.
What would this woman’s life have been like if she’s grown up in a different place or time?
If you never knew her, speculate on how you think the two of you would get along. If you were able to have a relationship with her, describe what made you click (or not).