A year ago I was living in Lyon with A LOT of spare time, that I mostly spent reading, and today is one year since I finished reading Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf. I’ve spoken on this blog already about how this book ‘changed my life’ but nope, I’m still not over it.
My mum bought the book for me as a joke, as my family had noticed a trend in my university work, the books I was reading and a tendency to talk about menstruation, suggesting that my feminist agenda was beginning to form around vaginas. They did not anticipate that Vagina would fuel that fire tenfold, neither did I.
It’s fair to say I was feeling pretty inspired after reading Wolf’s biography; inspired by Wolf, by womankind, by science, by psychology and of course by vaginas. In fact this week I quoted Vagina in my undergraduate dissertation (which the book inspired, of course). I’m looking at my 2016 journal and am amazed to see that after talking about Vagina on 21st February 2016, I wrote: ‘I can feel it in my blood. Is that weird? I can literally feel a novel floating around my blood, ready to be typed and penned through my fingers. I just wish it would stop bloody leaking out my fucking vagina!’
This makes me laugh for so many reasons, a few of which I’m sure my mum will yell at me for putting on the internet, so I’ll skip those ones (for now). Mostly, it makes me laugh because little did I know then, but eleven days later I would start writing my first novel. Four months later I would finish the first draft of Project 27 (cat’s out the bag!) and by the end of summer I had a novel that was whole, complete and, in my totally unbiassed opinion, pretty great.
Now, with a new years resolution to submit my manuscript to three literary agents a month, it’s been sent to seven agents and I’ve had my first two rejections. Project 27 may never be published but the point is that I started, wrote and finished a novel and will do it again and again, all off the back of being inspired about a nonfiction book about pelvic nerves, female sexuality and the yoni.
I cannot wait to read the next book that inspires me as much as Vagina did. Thanks Naomi Wolf, I owe you a pint.