The Free Woman: Launching 2 June


Hi lovely friends,

I am happy to let you know that The Free Woman is launching this coming Monday! I announced it on my Instagram (@bethjae – follow if you please) last week, but neglected to post it on here too. (Also, you know it’s been a while since you’ve been on your blog when you can’t remember your password and have to reset it – eek).

To give you a little bit more information, The Free Woman is: a space celebrating the feminine heart. The modern women is no longer confined but free to be the multi-faceted beauty she was originally created to be. She breaks the mould in design and is revolutionary. Content will be focused around five main facets of who she is.

So, what does this mean for By Bethany Jae? I’m changing things up.

As I’ve been developing The Free Woman, I realised why I wanted to create this space in the first place – to share my heart through words and document the beauty of life and people. While I wanted to ramp up and create something more profound here, it’s become increasingly apparent that those dreams are actually for The Free Woman. Discovering this has been freeing and creatively inspiring.

In saying that, this space will now become more of a journal, sharing bits and pieces of my life along with revelations and “light bulb” moments. Above all, celebrating raw beauty, words and life. To be honest, I’m really excited to be getting back to what I love to do – writing from the heart.

A team is gathering for The Free Woman (such gems they all are!) and I really hope you’ll follow it’s journey. If you’d like to be involved in some way, seriously let me know. My heart is to create a platform where women can be inspired and have their talents used. Incredible times are just on the horizon. The more who join in, the greater its beauty will be.

All my love,

Bethany x

PS: You can follow The Free Woman on Instagram @thefreewmn & Twitter @thefreewmn

An Interview With… Anna Kosmanovski

// Meet Anna Kosmanovski — storyteller, all-round lovely, and defender of the apostrophe. Having been published numerous times, she is a wealth of information when it comes to writing, living with vision, and simply going for it. Here is an interview with, Anna…

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Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you became involved in freelance writing?

Hi, my name is Anna and I love writing, creativity, coffee, chocolate, Paris, daydreaming, (as well as night dreaming!) and cats. I would describe myself as both a writer and ‘all round creative’.

I became involved in freelance writing soon after finishing my university degree. I got a job in marketing and, when my contract was up, took time out to write my first novel. It was after that that I had the epiphany – “Hey! I write. And businesses need writing. They need words for their website, newsletter, annual report, media release, brochure, etc. I can do that!” Really, that’s the gist of it! I found as soon as I started to market myself as a professional writer, work started to come in.

What’s been your favourite piece to write so far, and why?

In my freelance writing work, my favourite piece to write was the 2012/2013 Diana Ferrari/Supersoft new season catalogue. I really enjoy writing about fashion, style and of course, pretty shoes!

In my other work, I’ve also really enjoyed writing some short stories too. They’re long enough to lose yourself in but not long enough to go on for ages like a bigger piece of work.

I love how you have listed on your website the vision and values you live by. Why do you think it’s so important to have vision and values?

I think it’s really valuable to be really clear about your vision, as well as values. As an artist, your values help identify your unique selling points – and this will appeal to the right employer/client. It also just saves time – yours and other peoples’ – to be upfront about what you’re comfortable with, if something comes up. I think it’s about just being true to yourself! Really, as writers, we need to have a sharp conscience and be sensitive because we need to pick up on things – sometimes things hard to pick – and communicate them to others.

As for vision – that’s important too! Without a vision which makes you feel sparkly inside, how can we do our best work? A vision is life-giving!! It is something grand, something honest and something you are definitely allowed to keep to yourself – not excepting mum, spouse and cat.

How can a writer write a book unless they have a vision for it? Unless they ‘see’ it and imagine it happening!? We need to believe in our work like a bird believes in building a nest. They don’t doubt that they have what it takes to build it, or stress that it’s not perfect – they just do it and it’s great! We should take a leaf from that bird.

Outside of writing, what else do you love to do to that keeps you refreshed and inspired?

A few things! I find being creative so refreshing and invigorating, and I enjoy just exploring that. I love drawing, painting – furniture, canvasses, jars, frames -, making things like paper flowers and cards for friends, sticking ribbons around things and doing any kind of tactile arts! I also love reading, and intentionally seek to devour books! I have a crazy, lofty goal of reading as many of the classics as I can. I love a good movie too, though! I’m also very into walks… especially in Autumn when it’s so pretty! Love the beach too.

And lastly, I am a café girl! I love catching up with a friend at a café, talking for way too long, and also am quite happy to go on my own too!

For those who are passionate about writing and interested in pursuing it professionally, what gems of wisdom or encouragement would you give them?

Study. Learn about the craft, write, get feedback, get experience, read + repeat.

Read. Stephen King says that if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to write and I agree with him. As writers, it’s our food and something irreplaceable which gives us strength to our work…ideas, inspiration and also knowledge.

Hang out with other writers. If you don’t know any, find some! As writing is a solitary process by nature, I’ve found it rejuvenating – and inspiring – to meet other creatives along the way who share a passion and love of writing.

Develop your online presence but don’t put ALL your work up. Save something to be published! Also, don’t spend all your time doing it, either. Also, get a basic understanding of the Adobe Creative Suite, photography skills, video skills too. The funny thing is a 21st century writer now needs to wear a designer’s hat, a marketer’s hat, a bit of a tech hat, etc. Yes, it’s about the words but it’s also about how it looks too… this is what I am learning. So considering that things are only going to become “more digital” in the years to come, if I was an emerging writer today I would be becoming comfortable with these tools and program because marketing is such an important part of what we do.

My last piece of advice and the most important – write, write, write. Aim for everyday! Write about everything and anything. The more you write, the better you will be! There’s this theory that if you do 10,000 hours in your field, you become an expert of sorts. Makes sense to me!


Favourite writer: C.S. Lewis… but I can’t help but mention Dickens too. With non-fiction and journalism writing, I really admire Helen Garner.

Can’t stop listening to: ‘Zion’ by Hillsong United.

Savoury or sweet tooth? Both, unfortunately! Potatoes are my favourite vegetables but chocolate has crept into my life as a “hard to get rid of” companion… trying to reign it in.

Connect with Anna on her website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Image provided by  Anna  Kosmanovski

Ernest Hemingway Says It Best


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// “there is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at the typewriter & bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is a legend, and one I admire greatly. However, I have a love-hate relationship with the above quote. Read anything to do with writing and chances are you’ll see it.

I love it because it paints an image of what a writer does – being open and allowing all of your regrets, hopes, passions, desires, disappointments, experiences, joy, celebration, heart and soul to be penned down onto paper. Writing that comes from your very core is the most impacting, amazing, influential of writing after all, right? I also love this quote because it highlights the importance of simply writing and getting it all out, and then editing; letting your heart speak before your mind makes judgements and refines its edges.

On the other side of this, I hate it because, well, sometimes we don’t like to do that. We don’t like to be open with what we create or write because it’s scary. Whether it’s something inspirational, hilarious, challenging, or downright honest, writing can almost always be messy because you’re creating from a place within. It can leave you open and exposed, and there’s an element of unsureness in how it will be received by others.

But that’s the beauty about it – you never really know how it will be received until it’s out there.

These past few weeks you may have noticed that I’ve been silent on the blogging front. Well, I’ve also been silent when it comes to writing for my own personal enjoyment too – writing academic essays consumed my mind and the words for anything else never seemed to come. Rather than pushing it, I decided to have a ‘writing break’. It allowed  me to think and simply enjoy life without having a “oooo you should write about that, Bethany!” moment.

That time also allowed me to think more about what I want for this space in regards to its development and growth, how to continue adding value to you beautiful readers (thank you!), and to nut out some personal projects.

Sitting down at the computer (or typewriter or journal with a pen) and opening your heart onto the pages may be powerful, but when your mind is elsewhere, you can only ‘bleed’ so many times before the life in the words begin to get stale.

Writing is about life. Writing is about hope. Writing is about expressing and encompassing this life as we personally experience it.

Life is about not only experiencing things, but savouring them too. It’s about the doing and the breathing, and the movements in between. And sometimes we just need to take a break to be completely present in the day. We need our ‘create-o-meter’ to rise again and simply allow our minds to be cleared out and refreshed so that we can begin writing how we ought to.

Sometimes writing is about sitting there and ‘bleeding’. And other times it’s about not writing at all. There’s nothing wrong with writing nothing, as long as you intend to ‘bleed’ again…

[Note: you may begin seeing some changes around here. Bethany Jae is well and truly back! And please, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] to simply to say hello - hearing from you are my most favourite emails! Have a wonderful day and chat to you soon xx]

‘My Blog Workshop’ + A Little Resource

On Saturday I went to ‘My Blog Workshop’ by Simone Madigan from States of Nature.

The day was altogether lovely.

It was held at a restaurant I’ve been dying to go to for some time. There were 8 lovely ladies (journalist, bloggers, etsy shop owners, etc) all taking part. And the food was divine – the best latte you’ve ever sipped, scones, brownies, plus a delicious lunch.

The workshop focussed on Photoshop + Illustrator – two programs I’ve desperately wanted to tighten up + gain more skills in. So when I saw the workshop advertised early last week, I jumped at the chance to attend.

What I learnt was invaluable. By the end of the workshop, my brain was overwhelmed with all the new information, + I left incredibly inspired + excited about the possibilities ahead.

But more than that, I realised that it’s one thing to have a desire to do something, but it’s something entirely different to actually doing something about it.

See, for a while I’ve had a desire to design. Coming out of my Journalism degree, I had basic skills in Photoshop + InDesign, but none in Illustrator.

The past year or so, I’ve been scouring the Internet finding blogs, people, eBooks, workshops + other bits + pieces that inspire the areas I’m interested in – blogging, design, writing, + social media.

And it was through researching + discovering people on the Internet that I’ve begun finding such opportunities, like My Blog Workshop.

So, if you have a desire (which we all do), don’t leave it as that. Actively seek out those in your desired area, stay connected to what they’re doing + who they’re connected to, + you’ll begin to notice opportunities presenting themselves where you can glean + grow from them. And when those opportunities do present themselves, take them. I learnt so much that day because I took the opportunity that I saw.

Below I’ve put together some links + bits + bobs from some of my favourite discoveries (blogging, design, + writing). I hope that they nudge you along the right direction + inspire you to go for it. They may not all be your cup of tea, but you’ll definitely begin to find people in your area who are connected to these people. Trust me. Everyone is connected to someone..




Altitude Summit – a summit in Salt Lake City, USA for bloggers (think photography, design, lifestyle, food, fashion, styling, interior design, etc etc). After this year’s summit they opened up ‘Alt Channel’ – 1-hr online classes for $15 each. I’ve done a variety of their classes (SEO, advertising, design, etc etc) + they’re seriously phenomenal! You meet so many creative bloggers + leave feeling inspired to your core. Definitely keep your eyes peeled on their site for upcoming classes!


279 Days to Overnight Success, by Chris Guillebeau



My Blog Workshop by Simone Madigan of States of Nature

Your Darling Blog Design Workshop by Jo Kilma of August Empress


Design Love Fest, by Bri Emery

Fresh by Sian

Julian Bialowas




Goins Writer, Jeff Goins (especially his 15 Habits of Great Writer series)

The Write Practice

Donald Miller


You Are A Writer, by Jeff Goins

The Writer’s Manifesto, by Jeff Goins


The War of Art, by Stephen Pressfield (currently reading. Incredible!!)

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller

The Little Red Writing Book, by Mark Tredinnick

[What people, blogs, websites, etc inspire you?]

What’s Your Story?


Truth be known, I love stories.

Not the stories that begin with “Once upon a time…” from someone’s imagination, but the ones where the words bleed from the essence of a person’s soul + reflect humanity in its truest form.

I could spend countless hours (online) reading the stories that fill the blogs of Thankyou Water, TOMS, charity:water, + other difference makers.

I love stories.

And I love your story.


Your story.

See, we all have a story to tell.

We all have a story from the essence of our soul that reflects humanity in its truest form… because you are humanity in its truest form.

Whether your life has been one full of opportunities, dancing in the rain, respect, + conquering challenges to make your life count. Or, it’s had tragedy, setbacks, abuse, rebellion, + what we like to call ‘mistakes’. It’s part of your story. And not one is more important or of greater value than the other.

Think about some defining moments in your life, how they shaped you, what decisions they led you to make, + where you are now. That’s your story.

And whatever you believe about it… your story is worth being told.

Why? Because you’re worth it.

So… what’s your story?

 “People love to have lived a great story, but few like the work it takes to actually live that story.” – Donald Miller