The Purpose of Writing

Brave Women Write almost didn’t see the light of day.

Writing it was easy.

I had all the fuel I needed; mild PTSD from relentless COVID lock-downs; not much paid work with time on my hands; and grief at the end of a relationship.

It took me 90 days to write the first draft. When I typed The End we were on the tail-end of a 77-day lockdown in Melbourne.

By this time I was over myself—and over writing.

But I was also largely over my grief. Hallelujah! Mission accomplished.

It took me another 90 days before I could even look at the manuscript again.

After reading the first few pages, I contemplated burying it in an old Dropbox file and leaving it there to die a natural death.

I did not like what I had written!

I’d achieved my goal to write through my grief, so what would be the purpose of giving the book any further attention, I wondered.

Was it worth the effort of doing a second and third draft and the time and cost of publishing and marketing it?

One night over dinner with my friends, Sandy and Roger McDonald, Roger asked the hard question. What’s preventing you from publishing?

To this day, I don’t recall how I replied, but something shifted in me and I decided to reconnect to my purpose for writing Brave Women Write.

I hoped this would be what I needed to crack on and get the book published.

While I was writing as a way to face my grief, my purpose was often more nebulous and elusive. Some days it was like wandering through a forest without direction or destination. On other days, I was down a rabbit-hole with no idea where I’d end up.

This is, of course, the great purpose of writing; to take an adventure.

If you’re a beginner at writing, your only purpose is to get started, to surrender and explore without expectation. Your purpose is to write what’s in your heart and trust that one day you’ll find yourself on the other side of the forest.

My second purpose was more universal. I wanted to be of service to other women, to let them know their story matters and help them free the writer within. I wanted to make a contribution to the rebalancing of the world by encouraging women to write.

For that’s the other great purpose of writing; to add your voice to the collective and remake the world for women.

This second purpose was the reason I had to finish what I’d begun.

I had many false starts with this book but I am so glad I pushed on and published it.

If you need help to push on with your writing, then please join me at the Brave Women Writers’ Circle. It’s free for all those who subscribe to my blog and who have the book and it’s held every Friday from 8am to 9am AEST.

(Register once and then turn up to any or all of the weekly sessions as you wish.)

Or if you’re interested in a more personal approach with private mentoring email me to book a discovery conversation.

With love

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