On facing grief, finding hope and freeing the writer within.

Grief. It’s universal. It’s what makes us fully human. It’s what helps us become a kinder, braver, better person. It’s what leads us to a more meaningful life.

Whether it’s personal grief at the end of a marriage or a more ubiquitous collective grief over ecological collapse and the climate-crisis, there’s no escaping grief in all its forms.

At the end of 2020 and the sixth lockdown in Melbourne, my relationship ended. What ensued was a six-month writing drought. I was loveless and wordless, stuck in a kind of stagnant sorrow – perhaps depression.

One day, after an unlikely encounter with my ex, the grief became unstuck and it hit me hard. The only way through was to return to the keyboard, to get writing again.

And that’s what my next book BRAVE WOMEN WRITE: On facing grief, finding hope and freeing the writer within, is all about.

It’s a book that will show wannabe writers how to write through grief and make writing a practice for life. And it will be launched in three months on my 59th birthday!

If you’d like a signed copy, I’m taking pre-orders. Just hit reply to this email with a YES please! and I’ll add you to my list.

“The deeper the sorrow, the greater the joy.”  – William Blake

While it was grief that brought me to the page, it was my beloved Writers Group (Kath Walters, Sandy McDonald, Yamini Naidu and Di Percy) that got me through to a finished manuscript.

Every Monday morning at 8am, we turn up on Zoom, me with wet hair fresh out of the river and the others looking much more glamorous and professional. We share our writing wisdom, what we’re working on and ask for advice. Every month or so on a Friday, we gather at someone’s home for a day to write and for a ‘Lunch ‘n Laugh’.

These women are so much more than a Writers Group. They are true friends. In those first weeks when I first began writing again, they held me in my grief when I couldn’t hold it all alone. They challenged my self-doubt and my procrastination. And they kicked me lovingly up the proverbial when my inner-critic took over.

Without these women, I would not be writing this now. Without these women, I would not have my next writing project already underway. Without these women, I would not have found the courage to pursue my purpose to write the stories that remake the world.

So to these women, I say thank you.

A writer’s life can be a solitary life. But we can’t do it all alone. Writers need other writers to get the work of writing done. Just as mothers need other mothers. And climate activists need other climate activists. And river swimmers need other river swimmers.

We can’t hold our grief alone and we can’t pursue our purpose alone. So if something is calling you, find a group of people with the same calling. Guaranteed it’ll help kick-start your dreams, face your sorrow and find joy again.

With love and purpose

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