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 Collective. At 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.
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.