“I see people writing. Many, many people writing,” she said. “You’re going to be surrounded by a huge group of women. And they’re all writing. That will be your business. Very successful. All about writing.”
Yeah, right, I thought, listening to Sally, a self-proclaimed psychic and seer from Brooklyn whom I had run into unexpectedly in the summer of 2007 during the most shaky and achy period in my life.
I had two jobs and an occasional third one, trying my best to stay on top of life as a very-soon-to-be single mom. If I didn’t find a way to take my son, move out and start again at a new place which we’d call home, I’d probably lose my sanity. I needed to get my life and inner world under control and rebuild everything from scratch after a marriage that left me unhappy, pissed off and very, very resentful.
So, when Sally told me I would be living close to New York City a few years after turning forty, that I’d run a business that’s got something to do with writing, all I could do was wince. I did like a bit of woo-woo, but not this kind! She should have at least made up some stuff that would have made the story somewhat believable, I thought.
Ten years later, here I am, in New Jersey. I suppose that counts as a location close to NYC. I’m 45, and I’m running a writing business, The Inky Path. Thank you very much, Sally. You were damn right.
What has happened between my encounter with Sally the Seer and now is a whole story of its own. She had foreseen other things too—things that also materialized even though they sounded crazy and unbelievable at the time. Maybe one day, I’ll tell you the whole story, or if you join my inner circle, the Women Writers’ Collective, you might find out more especially during our Deep Writing Intensives.
My life is no longer achy or shaky. I’m married to the love of my life. My son is almost 24 and has his own son now—sweet, little baby Noah. And I run The Inky Path, which I’m devoted to grow as the haven that supports nonfiction women writers, creatives and changemakers who want to shape their world with their words.
When I look back, I realize that two things I’ve never stopped doing my whole life—starting from the days I was a munchkin—have been writing and building communities. Words and circles have always enchanted me.
I used to organize creative clubs for the neighborhood kids and invent games that were handed over to younger sisters and brothers. I used to write for the school paper and was also active in many different student clubs despite the fact I’ve always been very introverted.
I’ve held jobs in corporate environments and NGOs, I’ve run book series projects for publishing agencies, I’ve organized conferences and in-service training programs for various organizations including municipalities and associations, and I’ve translated more than 35 books, half of them into English, and even won second place for literary translations in the Barnes & Noble Great New Writers Award a decade ago.
I’ve been building and running my own business since 2010, and I’m finally able to create and live by doing something that nourishes my heart first. And unsurprisingly, it involves the two things I love doing the most: writing and building communities where creative women gather, connect and flourish.
I hope you’ll join me here at The Inky Path and enjoy what excites you the most—whether it’s our one-of-a-kind, friendly private community where we practice writing together and grow as writers or the marvelous online writing classes I create for you in collaboration with some of the best teachers.
And if you’re curious about my background, I’m originally from Istanbul, Turkey. My name means the flower crocus, and it’s pronounced as “Chee-dam.” My relationship with the English language goes back to the time I was 11. I studied middle school and high-school at the American Academy for Girls in Istanbul, where I was fully immersed in English since very young.
I lived in Europe (in Berlin) for two years at the end of the ’90s. My first husband was German. I love the German language, but my days in Berlin were not full of bliss. I want to visit the city again one day.
I studied film directing and scriptwriting at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. I love films by John Ford, Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen, Joseph Losey, Chantal Akerman, Claude Lelouch, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Agnès Varda, Steven Soderbergh, and Tim Burton.
Although I’ve had a driver’s license since 1991, I didn’t drive a car in traffic until 2011. (I’ve always lived in big cities where you didn’t need a car!) Now I drive, but I’m not crazy about it, to be honest. I did, however, started learning to fly a Cessna four-seater back in the ’90s. It was fun, and I want to do it again.
I’m also writing my first novel and will probably publish it using a pseudonym. My most favorite flowers are blue hydrangeas. Each time I see them, I remember my late father. I need to live close to trees. My favorite exercise is walking in nature. I’m a Peets coffee addict, wine and cheese lover, and a hard-core introvert (INFP) who’d go nuts without at least a little solitude and quiet “me time” every single day.
Welcome again! I hope we get to know each other better soon. You need to tell me about yourself, too. Much to talk about. Much to share. Write to me.