One of the things I’m always banging on about is the way writing connects people. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to attend a couple of lunches focusing on women, writing and business and it’s reinforced for me the importance of spending time with like-minded people and the power of the group when it comes to supporting your writing – and other – endeavours.

The first lunch was held by The Society of Women Writers, (www.womenwriters.org) one of their regular gatherings at the Dixon Room in The State Library. It was wonderful to chat to other women writers and to hear from Yvonne Louis and Aleesah Darlison(www.aleesahdarlison.com)  about their recent publications and their experiences in the world of writing. Both of them have spent many years on their journey to being a published writer. For Yvonne, writing her memoir A Brush with Mondrian, helped her reconnect with family members she hadn’t seen for decades. Aleesah’s four and a half years of working on her children’s fiction and picture books has finally paid off with a number of books now published and more in the pipeline. Both women acknowledged the role played by their fellow writers in providing support and encouragement along the way. And both of them provided inspiration and encouragement to those of us in the audience aspiring to be published.

The second lunch was held by The Sydney Women’s Network (www.sydneywomensnetwork.com) and provided a forum for women to connect and network. Being a networking novice the prospect was more than a little daunting but once again I found that being in a group of women with a common purpose was a positive and affirming experience.

So what has all this got to do with writing?

As women and writers we need to stay connected to each other, to continue to support each other, to encourage and inspire each other. We all have skills and wisdom we can share.  By listening to and learning from our peers we can broaden our own experiences and strengthen our skills. This circle of sharing creates important bonds between us both as women and as individuals that in turn strengthens the quality of our relationships and society.

And of course, our writing.

Books by Aleesah Darlison …

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And Yvonne Louis …

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Another great site: Australian Women Online (www.australianwomenonline.com) has articles on current affairs, health, travel, lifestyle, business, books, music and more.