Happy new year! Wishing you great happiness and creativity in 2024.
I’m writing this on a dreary, waterlogged day on the land of the Bunurong/ Boon Wurrung people in my writers’ room at our farm.
The constant pitter-patter of rain on the roof provides a sense of peace and tranquility. The sing-song whistle of the Willie Wagtails signal the joy to be found in this wet weather. While Chai, our cat, is curled up sleeping on a nearby dining chair. She’s a reminder that human cat-naps are allowed, and indeed essential, to a creative writer.
These are the perfect conditions to write and let you know I’m thinking of you and wondering about that story inside waiting to be written.
In 2010, I wrote the first draft of Unstuck in Provence: The courage to start over. It’s a personal travel memoir spanning a period of eight months from the day I made the decision to leave Sydney to the last day of my writing sabbatical in Aix-en-Provence, France with my 12-year-old son, Billy.
I’d arrived in France with the intention of writing Real Women, a book about 12 women and how they’d each overcome major challenges in their lives. They were all women I considered to have far more interesting stories to tell than mine. I’d even mapped out the chapters and begun interviewing the first few women.
However, when I got to Aix, I just couldn’t get started. I was unable to find the inspiration and the will to write. Somehow, it didn’t feel right to be writing this book. Here I was having a transformational experience in France, while believing these other women’s stories to be more worthy, and more deserving of my time.
After a night sleeping on it, I made a decision to write Unstuck in Provence instead. In four months I wrote 60,000 words, although it took me another three years to find the courage to publish it.
I learnt from this experience, not to shrink back from telling my own stories, to be courageous and vulnerable in sharing pieces of my life. I learnt how to be a better, brighter, braver human being through the act of writing. And, most importantly, I learnt not to compare my stories to other women’s stories.
You don’t need to write and publish a book to tell your story. Your stories can be written in a personal journal, in private letters to a chosen few, as a public essay, a series of poems, a regular blog or even articles for the media.
It doesn’t really matter how you choose to write your stories. What matters most, is that you get them out and onto the page.
Every woman has a story to tell. What about you? Please don’t let it die inside.
If you’re keen for a creativity boost to kickstart your writing in 2024, consider booking a place at the next Brave Women Writers’ Circle (kick-off Friday 2 February).
Brave Women Write Book Orders
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Join the next Brave Women Writers’ Circle
Commencing Friday 2 February 2024
Are you a woman who yearns to share your story with the world? Do you often find yourself suppressing your inner voice and waiting for that perfect day to start writing? Or perhaps you’ve begun writing and are feeling stuck? If so, the Brave Women Writers’ Circle is the right place for you.
As an experienced author, writer and educator, the Brave Women Writers’ Circle will be led and facilitated by Carolyn Tate. With only 12 places available, the 12-week program is designed to guide you in bringing your writing project to life while connecting you to a courageous community of other women writers.