In June 2015, I launched The Roar Sessions, a series of guests posts on my former blog.
For a year and a half, very Monday morning featured a new perspective on what “hear me roar” means to women of diverse backgrounds and experiences. And every week, I fell in love with this series all over again.
I have mad respect for each courageous contributor, and hope you will read, comment, share, and engage as the weeks and our stories unfold.
Thank you to EVERYONE who contributed and supported this wonderful series. As of 2017, I am no longer accepting submissions or publishing new “roar” posts. Please come visit me at www.jenaschwartz.com.
The views and opinions expressed in these guest posts do not necessarily reflect my own. All Roar Sessions content, including photos, belongs to the respective contributors.
Previous Roars (in the order in which they appeared)
Jena Schwartz: Hear Me Roar
Patti Digh: When Roaring is Discouraged, Learn to Roar Anyway
Jen Lemen: Finding Your Roar When You’ve Lost Your Voice
Vicki Hoefle: An Unguided Roar Becomes Rage
Sondra Hall: Leaving Job City
Ozzie Nogg: When Bubbie Becomes Baba Yaga
Nyarkoa Mensah-Jordan: The Call
Khadijah: The Many Voices of Roar
Bronwyn Petry: How I Got My Roar Back
Meghan Leahy: When Your Roar is a Chore
Larissa Schwartz: The Comfortable Contradiction
Dana Schwartz: Lost and Found
Katie DiBenedetto: Love Your Life, Own Your Roar
Gail Henderson-Belsito: You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar
Vanessa Mártir: My Roar is Relentless
Susa Talan: Roar, Schmoar
Madhuri Blaylock: The Roaring Forties
Shawn Fink: Taming My Inner Roar
Devi Lockwood: Speaking from Silence: how I found (and continue to find) my roar
Dakota Nyght: Roar from the Darkness
Rabbi Ilana Garber: #AfterCancer
Lindsey Mead: When Your Roar Sounds Different Than You Thought It Would
Deli Moussavi-Bock: Raise a Roar
Denise Ullem: A Beautiful Hallelujah
Christa Gallopoulos: Room to Roar
Sonya Lea: The Roar of the Mountain
Leticia Hernández-Linares: Guerra
Maija Beattie: Roar Louder
Meg Casey: Unburying My Roar
Indira Ganesan: You Remember
Mindy Tsonas: New Moon Howl
Lesley Salas: Mira, Mami
Andrea Jarrell: Roar for the Ages
Nicki Gilbert: Writing My Way Up
Candace J. Taylor: On “Being Nice”
Maya Stein + Amy Tingle: Roaring Together
Juli Fraga: Unleashing My Inner Storyteller
Rudri Bhatt Patel: The Roar in Solitude
Bryonie Wise: Tin Can
Marian Kent: Using My Words
Rivke van der Lugt: The Roar of Presence
Julia Davidovitz: If Tattoos Could Talk, Mine Would Roar
Melissa Uchiyama: Howl, Scream, Speak: The Voice of a Mama
Adina Giannelli: Forgoing the Law and Finding Freedom
Anonymous: Silent Roar
Erica Sternin: Blue Horses
Becky Jardine-Holland: Excuse Me
Dominique Sinagra: Star Student
Andréa Ranae Johnson: A Coming Together of Roars
Betsey Crawford: Moses in Utah
Jennifer Sekella: Beyond the Skin
Amy Oestreicher: From Coma to Comedy
Angie Dailey: Running Away Is Never an Option
María José Giménez: Roar the Untranslatable
Stacy de la Rosa: The Roar of Ravens
Dana Schwartz: Grief Roar
Lisa Leshaw: The Culture of Beauty
Martha Batiz: A Roar in Your Second Language Might Be Your Strongest Roar
Mani Schwartz: Claiming What’s Mine
Gavi Elkind: Belly of the Beast
Jennifer New: The Power of Silence
Adrie Bordelon: The Price for Healing This Sliver of the Past
Nika Ridley: Musing on Pleasure
Lisa Gray: 15 Minutes of Fame for the Bullshit in My Head (or What My Writing Life Should Look Like)
Kathleen Gemmell: Who Am I?
Alana Shereen: Unmasked
Ashley Collins: Fairytale Lost
Rachelle Mee-Chapman: Becoming Religish
Cristina Spencer: I’m Not Really a Waitress
Lauren Breyer: To the Women
Marsha Recknagel: The Red, Red Robe
Nu: Love, with a Side of Religion
More people shared my June 2015 Hear Me Roar post than perhaps anything I’d ever posted on my blog. It was
pretty incredible for me, especially given I almost didn’t put out there.
Recognition. Mirrors for each other. A shared, unifying desire to speak. To be heard. To take ourselves seriously. To stop apologizing. To ditch the “maybes” and the “kind ofs” and the “does that make sense?” and all the other ways we diminish ourselves with the words we choose. A pull to connect, a disinterest in competing, a common denominator of creating strong, supportive communities of women.
Some days my voice is quiet and unsure, other days the quiet is the surest thing I know, and yet other times, I want to shout it all from the rooftops.
We all roar differently, and even our own voices change over time. The Roar Sessions was one way, for me, of connecting with and honoring the many, many voices that inspire and move me–to action, to stillness, and back again.