Writing had always been one of my favourite things to do. Since I was a young girl, I just loved writing. That passion and admiration for communicating through the written word led me to studying Journalism, and then creating The Free Woman.
Writing used to be my safe place. It was to be the tool I used and loved and honoured in expressing truth and hope to others. But somewhere along the way, that changed.
You may not realise, but this is my first full post on here in over a year. There are pieces attributed to myself, but they’re either interviews with extraordinary woman and organisations I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with, or repurposed content that had been published in magazines or on other sites, including my personal blog pre-The Free Woman.
It isn’t that I simply stopped writing on here – it’s that I stopped writing for myself too. I was still writing professionally, yet not personally. The joy in the craft had disappeared.
Throughout last year I knew I hadn’t written for a while, but it wasn’t until reflecting on the year that had been that it dawned on me – I hadn’t written anything for the entire year. It wasn’t like I’d set out to do that; it simply happened. Between editing the pieces generously contributed from our team of writers and guest submissions, and some hard life seasons, I stopped. With a good dose of grace though, The Free Woman continued to grow, build, inspire, and reach. And for that I am incredibly grateful and humbled to all involved.
After recognising that it had been a whole year, I told myself I’d change that – and yet I didn’t. I couldn’t. We’re now halfway into this new year, and here I find myself doing what Ernest Hemingway says to do – “sit and bleed”, and am finally writing for you.
So why did I stop writing? There are two core reasons:
1 | To find my voice
Each one of us has a voice, but it’s what you’re giving voice to that matters. We can all be chatty and have opinions, but tell me – what are your convictions? Why are they your convictions? Are they helping and building, or dividing?
Through this past season I was able to discover what I believe and why I believe it. This included topics like faith, community, friendships, relationships and love, health, integrity, career, heart and mind issues, how I want to treat people and the type of woman/friend/leader/wife/mother I want to be and be known for.
As a result, my voice went through a process of change.
2 | To heal
“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” – Haruki Murakami
If you’re human, you’ve gone through at least one experience that requires healing, and chances are you’ll go through many, many more. One thing I’ve come to recognise and realise through this is that this process changes us. It simply can’t leave you the same. Deep moments of sorrow pave the way for deep joy to be birthed. And as you open up your heart to healing and to the right people, the life you’re leading changes because it reveals, refines and moulds you in a different way. You begin to see, think, feel and live out of a new expression and purpose.
As a result of opening up my heart, I made decisions that changed and continues to change my life in unexpected ways. It’s often said that writing is a great healing tool, and it is and has personally been one. Yet last year I recognised that I simply needed to be. To let my heart heal and to ride the season out without putting pressure on myself to express it.
The woman who started this community is very different to the one she is now. This past year moulded me in more ways than I can count. Some seasons felt like I braving the isolating winter’s cold, while others felt like walking in the fire and feeling far from lovely or free. But I know and believe that the best days are ahead.
And so, now is the time to begin writing for you again.
“There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming.” – Shauna Niequist