Wednesday 19 April 2017

Why We Do What We Do by Elaine Fraser

Why We Do What We Do

We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves. Neil Gaiman

This week I had meetings for two significant groups I belong to in Western Australia—Kinwomen and the Inspire Collective.

I’m a writer for Kinwomen and a committee member, of the Inspire CollectiveAt both meetings, most of the discussion was centred around why we do what we do, and the most effective way in which to do that.

As writers, we often concentrate on the what of what we’re doing and assume the why is implicit. Like me, you may have even written a vision statement at some time and included it in your bio, but only occasionally think about it. 

As we brainstormed and wrote our conclusions out, I thought the process was very much like preparing an elevator pitch–similar to what you may have done in pitching to an agent or publisher.

I thought it might be an interesting exercise to revisit the why of my writing as I’m about to complete a novel in a completely new genre, and I wondered if my why was still the same.

So, I answered the five questions we were asked to consider and I’ve included my answers below. As you read my answers, I hope you’ll try answering them for yourselves.

Who are you?

I’m Elaine Fraser—author, speaker, traveller, wife, mother, teacher, reader, golden retriever lover, and God-follower.

What do you do?

I write books that are honest, concerned with real lives and real issues, with a spiritual edge. My books are contemporary, don’t always have a perfect ending, but always have hope.

Who for?

I write for young adult and adult women who are looking for reading material that will challenge and inspire them to live an empowered and spiritually rich life.

What do these people want or need?

Women need books that tell a good story that they can relate to and that takes them on a personal and spiritual journey.  Women need to feel that they are not the only ones facing particular problems. 

They need be able to relate to the character and understand aspects of their own lives.  They need stories that allow them to say, ‘Hey, I’ve gone through that', and perhaps learn new ways to cope with struggles that they may be facing.
What is the outcome for them?

When women read my books, I hope they feel understood, or understand the emotions and struggles of others, and perhaps find some answers to questions they have in their own lives.

I hope that they see that life may not be perfect, but that there is always hope. That they may be empowered to grapple with issues they face. Through the lives of the characters, I hope they will be inspired to find that the real story, and the real answer, is found in the struggle. 

Life isn't easy and doesn't always have a fairy tale happily-ever-after. Life is worked out as we engage and wrestle with issues, faith, emotions and each other. I hope that women will find something in my books that they can take away. Something that will help them develop more faith, hope, and love. 

How would you answer these questions?

I’m still working on articulating the answers to these questions, but once I got started, I found that a lot of these answers were sitting there already. I’ll be very interested to read your responses to the questions.


  1. Really liked the answers you gave to the questions above, Elaine. Since you ask, I'll have a go, but my answers will need to be brief this time around.

    I'm Jo-Anne Berthelsen, God's child, writer, speaker, wife, mother, nanna, mentor etc.
    I write fiction with strong faith themes and non-fiction (memoir) and speak at both Christian and 'secular' groups.
    I write primarily for women in the 20-40 age range (but younger and older women and men too are free to read!)--and I speak to people (men and women) of all ages.
    My readers (and listeners) need interesting, well-written novels with strong faith themes that touch the heart and say something worthwhile and also memoirs that are honest and authentic and share the struggles and joys of journeying with God.
    Hopefully I draw my readers and listeners closer to God in some way, as they identify with my characters or with me via my non-fiction books or with the things I share as I speak, drawn either from Scripture or from my own life/writing journey.

    These could be put much better, Elaine, but it's the best I can do at the moment!

    1. Great, Jo-Anne! Your vision statement is clearly articulated-you've obviously lived thos out! 😀

  2. Thanks for sharing your answers with us, Elaine. I love the way that your books show real people actually grappling with important questions rather than just being given pat answers. Would love to hear more about your genre switch. Whatever it is, I know it will impact lives.

  3. Thanks, Nola. I'm writing a Women's contemporary novel for the general market. I'm about 90 000 words in.

    1. Sounds great Elaine. I'll look forward to it hitting the shelves :)


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