One of the things I’ve really appreciated over the last year of freelancing is discovering what a supportive community of creative women there is out there. In addition to all the Facebook groups and websites for writers, some of which I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, there are some wonderful individuals who regularly share their knowledge and experience online to help others.
If I’m having a difficult day in the (home!) office, it’s an absolute gift to know there are several people I can send a quick message to who will understand whatever mini crisis I’m going through. And, if I’m struggling for inspiration, there’s an absolute multitude of newsletters, websites and social media feeds that I know will always give me a boost.
To celebrate that spirit of sharing, I thought I’d collate some of my favourites here for you: creative women doing great things online.
1. Chris Mosler at Thinly Spread
Chris is one of the ‘original’ UK parenting bloggers – one whose beautifully-crafted posts tend to be about people and places rather than products. She’s also a cracking photographer and vegan cook, and in recent years has also branched out into travel writing. The first time I saw Chris at a blogging conference I was so star-struck that I was too nervous to go and speak to her, but thankfully I got over that quite quickly and now count her as one of my closest friends who lives in the computer.
2. Becky Goddard-Hill – author of Create Your Own Happy
Becky is another UK blogger who has been writing for a long time. I can barely keep up with how many blogs she has, because she seems to start a new one every few weeks, and several of them have won awards for their advice on family budgeting and raising emotionally healthy children. Becky’s latest achievement is a BOOK! Along with fellow blogger Penny Alexander, she has written Create Your Own Happy, an activity book for children which will be released by Harper Collins in September.
Susannah is an author, photographer and teacher who runs a number of wonderful online courses about creativity. She covers everything from blogging to journaling to tarot. I’m a huge fan of her Unravelling the Year workbooks, which offer an opportunity to reflect at the end of each year, and articulate some aims and ambitions for the year to come. Unlike a lot of online teachers, Susannah is very real. She shares both the lows and the highs of her own life through a regular newsletter and through her lovely Instagram feed.
4. Emily Quinton at Makelight
When I still lived in the UK, lovely Emily was one of the few bloggers who I regularly met up with in person. (Can confirm that her home-made chocolate cake is excellent!) Over the past few years, her photography business and her family blog The Startup Wife have merged and evolved into the hugely popular and inspirational Makelight community. Emily is a maker, creator, photographer, teacher, writer, wife and mother – and it has been an absolute delight to see her achieve such well-deserved success.
5. Karen Bleakley at Smart Steps to Australia
Around the same time that my family left the UK and moved to Australia, Karen and her family made the same move – to Brisbane, rather than Hobart. Now she runs a website – Smart Steps to Australia – that helps other people do the same. It’s a fantastic helpful resource, and I wish it had existed five years ago – it would have made our move so much easier! When she’s not tending to her Smart Steps community, Karen finds time to do some travel writing, so keep an eye on her Facebook page for beautiful photos and travel recommendations.
6. Annie Spratt at Mammasaurus Blog
Annie started blogging around the same time as I did (in fact she beat me for just about every new blogger award going – deservedly so!). She’s now a Community Manager for Unsplash, which is the absolute BEST site for downloading beautiful free images that you can then use for your own blog, website or publication. Annie has an amazing eye for photography – when she visited Tasmania last year and shared some photos of the state it made me see it in a whole new light. Keep an eye on her Insta feed for visual inspiration.
I first encountered Nat at the Richmond Christmas Tree Farm, which she runs with her husband Jared. It took me a while to connect the dots and realise that Christmas Tree lady was also Awesome Tasmanian photographer lady, but I got there in the end. Working with tourism operators, designers, producers and makers, Nat has an astonishing talent for really capturing the essence of this beautiful island state. I love browsing her Insta feed, and harbour dreams of working with her on some professional headshots one day.
8. Bec Adamczewski at Becski Design
Like several of the people on this list, Bec is a friend as well as someone whose talent I am in awe of. She juggles motherhood and teaching with her own graphic design work, and recently won the People’s Choice Award at the dear kunanyi exhibition for her beautiful print of a black cockatoo. She’s also one half of Mini Tini, and designed the logo for my website! Like many ‘mumpreneurs’ (urgh, that word…) Bec’s Insta photos are a fantastic mix of creative life and family life, and they will leave you wondering if she somehow has more hours in her day than the rest of us do…
9. Lindy Alexander at The Freelancer’s Year
If I could advise fellow writers to only sign up to ONE newsletter, it would be Lindy Alexander’s. They are always jam-packed with helpful hints and advice about how to make freelance life work for you, and Lindy is so honest about the fact there are good months and bad months when you choose this way of working. She’s an enormously successful writer and content creator, and hugely generous about sharing information and advice. Check out her blog The Freelancer’s Year and sign up for updates.
10. Anna Spargo-Ryan
Author of two beautiful novels, The Paper House and The Gulf, Anna was my first Australian writer crush. I have such admiration for writers who are equally adept at writing perfect 140-character tweets, award-winning essays, and breathtaking fiction. Follow Anna on Twitter for excellent content on mental health, books, writing and snacks.
I’ve met Danielle twice – once at a Sea Shepherd beach clean-up, and once in a bookshop – so it’s clear that our interests coincide! One of these days we’ll get our act together to actually have a coffee, but in the meantime, I spend a lot of time marvelling at how many outdoor adventures she manages with her sons. Every weekend seems to bring a new mountain or bush walk! When Danielle isn’t out making the most of Tasmania’s natural offerings, she’s busy being a writer. Along with Louise Correcha, she recently published Working Mums – an excellent collection of essays from mothers about how they balance life and work.
12. Amy Liptrot – Author of The Outrun
Back in the day, Amy and I worked together on the Student newspaper at Edinburgh University. Her stunning memoir The Outrun was published in 2016, and has won a number of awards, including the 2016 Wainwright Prize and the 2017 PEN Ackerley Prize. Amy’s Twitter and Instagram feeds are now a beautiful and eclectic mixture of wild swimming photos, book recommendations, links to thought-provoking essays and reflections on motherhood.
13. Thalia Kehoe Rowden at Sacraparental
I mainly know Thalia through a beautiful Facebook community of writers and mothers that I’m part of. Thalia’s gentle, respectful, inclusive leadership and moderation has made that group one of my very favourite places on the internet. Thalia describes herself as a minister-turned-mother and full-time feminist, and her blend of social justice and spirituality is one that works well for me. Why not pop over and say hello!
14. Lucy AitkenRead at Lulastic
Lucy is another online friend who made a big international move around the same time we did – from the UK to New Zealand. Lucy is a mother, writer, vlogger, blogger and activist, who has chosen to raise her beautiful family off-grid in a yurt. She is a truly wise woman whose content never fails to get me thinking, and I especially love that she is a champion of healthy and respectful debate. You can find Lucy ALL over the internet under her screen name Lulastic and the Hippyshake.
15. Melanie Roach at Husk and Floe
Lovely Mel is one of the few people on this list who I’ve actually seen recently in person! When she’s not busy being a teaching assistant at a local school, Mel is a wonderful artist, who nails the essence of Tasmania in her striking abstract paintings. If you know the island, you’ll see right away that her palette of blues, greens and purples perfectly captures the colours of Tasmania’s wild places. When one of her images pops up on Instagram it’s always a delight.
So those are my top picks of inspiring women you should be following online! Creative, inspiring and though-provoking, every one of them. If there are women in your online life who always give you a boost of positivity or productivity when you encounter them, I’d love you to share a name or a link in the comments below!