I’ve noticed a few patterns in questions from writers in my world this past week. Writers either in the throes of draft one, writers building their digital presence, or dealing with rejections for a project, or preparing for the submission process and finding it’s all taking much longer than expected.

And, I’ve been through all of these things so many times, I want to share what helped me with every creative battle listed above….

When you feel stuck, or frustrated, or you’re questioning whether or not it’s truly ‘worth’ the trouble…

Come back to your ‘Why’ for this project.

Because this is your eternal sun, your life force energy, the joy and the spirit in which you, and only you can approach things.

There’s an exercise in the second module of the Art of Memoir where I get you to anchor in your values and your goals to your personal ‘why’, and it’s really important.

But whether you’re writing the draft or building platform or waiting to hear back on a query letter, or, like me, in the middle of Winter when the nights are long and the days are short and I feel like I’ve barely gone for a walk before it’s time to shut up the house and start the process of warming it again (!) and what have I accomplished? And it’s June, and why aren’t I further along (and all the other messages from my ‘ego’ self obsessed with time and its illusions of good / bad or worthy / unworthy)…?

I come back to my personal ‘why’. 

Because the why is your unique desire for your life and what you want to bring to fruition. It feels good for you, and it’s not something anyone else can show you or give you or ascertain for you. It comes from the same place all creativity comes from: your unique spirit.

…. the why is yours alone.

Which is why it’s a gift, and it’s part of how you access your gift.

And it comes from your deepest, truest desire for growth and joy and freedom in this lifetime.

🌌 Last night – the longest night here, in the southern hemisphere where I live (a tiny regional mountain town in Victoria, Australia) – I came back to my own why for my current creative goal, setting an intention for the months to come.

The winter solstice is my favourite time to do this, because the longest night is a symbolic reminder of how seeds need darkness and quiet time in order to grow. They require faith, vision and trust.

We can’t be pulling them up every few days, demanding to see ‘evidence’ of their growth. we can’t be talking to everybody about what it looks like… because we can’t see. The most miraculous creations (in the plant kingdom and in our human lives) don’t look like anything for awhile, until suddenly…

They exist!

I’d just come from a beautiful welcome ceremony in the ‘village’ (it feels slightly medieval using that term, but it truly is a ‘village’ where I live!) to open the new Community Centre, and indigenous elders performed a welcome to country and smoking ceremony, in order to honour the land and ‘clean’ the energy before we start using the new space.

It reminded me how important it is to perform our own ‘smoking’ ceremony whenever we feel stuck or stale in a project, letting go of the frustrations and the past, coming back to the now, and recalibrating our intentions with how we want the process to feel.

Because we only have this present moment in which to create. And by changing the way we attend to the present, we simultaneously cleanse the past and prepare the ground for the future arrival of the ‘growth’ we’re working for…

If you’re feeling stuck or stale or questioning the work or the struggle or the wait with your project, I want to encourage you to come back to yourself and take a special moment to be still and think about ‘why’ this is important to you.

Your why is sacred, it’s unique, and it just might be the key to unlocking the special insight that leads to your very next step in the process.

If you’re ready to query your nonfiction to agents and publishers, I’m preparing a really special offering that’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
​You do need to be on my email list to get the details, so make sure you sign up for one of the many free writing resources available to get onto the list.

There’s going to be live coaching, personal reviews, and a comprehensive curriculum for ambitious nonfiction writers I’ve not yet shared openly before…

But you do need a manuscript, in order to pitch and get published, which is where going into the quiet, getting the words down, and crafting a story from YOUR definition of beauty and art and what you want your life to stand for, must come first.

And it can feel good, and aligned, and ‘holy’… when you trust your ‘why’.

Happy ‘turning of the wheel’, friends.


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The Messy Middle of Memoir
My first book deal

writing a memoir for publication
3 archetypes in every true story
the art of memoir