Writing a ‘big girls’ book

When I started out on this book writing journey I didn’t really know what it was going to look like. I figured I would just sit at my desk and pump out a heap of words than someone would read it, make some tweaks and abracadabra you had a book.

Turns out the process is a lot longer and a lot more expensive than anticipated. I had the idea to write this book several years after being interviewed for a local magazine. I wrote a couple of pages and then got distracted with life. Fast forward to today and I nearly have a completed book.

I was inspired to put pen to paper (Ok fingers to keyboard) again after I saw the passionate responses on a Facebook post a friend had written about parents parking. What I saw there were that people we very vocal about their opinion and also very aggressive in their stance.

So, I figured the timing might be perfect for a book of this type.

I knew I never wanted to have children. It was never something that even figured in my life plans but over the years I have been subject to much judgement from family, acquaintances, society (and now ex-friends) because apparently, I am a selfish person who doesn’t know my own mind and I missing out on something called unconditional love. Sorry, I call bullshit!

I am a big believer in women making their own rules in life and I have always supported my friends in their choices to have kids and I expect the same in return. It is all about the C word – choice!

To help me stay focused and not get distracted by bright shiny things, which I tend to do, I went and housesat for a friend in Cairns for 2 weeks. I pumped out about 45,000 words and came back thinking I had nailed it! So off it went to the editor for her thoughts.

Well, my newfound confidences was shot down in flames when she called me at the start of her editing process and told me I had the foundations of a great book but I wasn’t quite there yet. Ouch! So she comes back with some suggestions which I loved and also sent it back to me less about 20,000 words with a new structure and a lot of rewriting to do.

My thought was “I got this!”

So, what can you expect from the book?

I have covered topics that I had never anticipated but sometimes when you go down the rabbit hole, it can lead to all different places. Let me be very clear that this is not a mum bashing book. This is a book that shares the choice to be childfree or even child-friendly and from many perspectives. I explore our influences growing up including how fairy tales, toys and education may have shaped our decisions.

I talk about cultural differences, expectations from society, not being the selfish ones (as we have been led to believe), how motherhood can be connected to identity, if the biological clock actually exists, men who are childfree and also share exercises that can help you determine if you want to have children or not. Plus a lot more in between. I share personal stories and the stories of women who fit in every cross-section of this conversation. Think of it as an anthropological field guide.

During the process, I have had so many women reach out to me, including a woman in Canada who thanked me for writing this book and sharing the message that it is OK to be childfree. I have had reinforcement that this is a hot topic from many people in Facebook groups and in conversations I have had in real life. I want to give a voice to all childfree women, like me, who have lived with the mantras of “you’ll change your mind”, “you will regret it”, “you don’t know what you’re missing out on”, “you are so selfish”, “it is your role as a women to have children” and one my faves “why did you get married if you’re not having kids”. Yep heard them all + more over and over, like a broken record. I say enough!!

I want to change the dialogue. I want people to re-think what they ask in general conversation, how they react and to turn judgement into support. It’s been a therapeutic process and I have really learnt a lot about myself during this time.

If I can get the dollars together to get this book launched, there will be many women who get to share their story and others that I can maybe help to understand what they really want for themselves in order to live a happy & fulfilled life. It’s time this conversation was in the spotlight in society.This is a global conversation.

You can help in that journey.
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