Finding A Voice – Rebooting Writing, Benefits, 5 Principles, Fear, Imposter, Perfectionism, Contribution, Tools, Publishing Checklist, My Top 5, Beating ChatGPT


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When I resigned from my business a year ago, I started writing again.

The Mirror Is The Hardest Place To Look was my first article in years.

I didn’t know at that point that I’d keep going. It just felt like a story with some tough lessons that was too important not to share.

Now, 14 months and 23 articles later, there are days my writing flows and other days it’s excruciating, but it’s still valuable each time.

On reflection, a few themes have emerged about my process and what writing means to me.


Most of the time when I write, it feels like hard work. But there are a few main benefits:

      1. It forces me to clarify my thoughts, unpack situations and stories and crystallise lessons.
      2. Some of my situations and stories have felt raw and painful to share. In these instances it feels like writing has helped me make sense and take ownership of what’s happened and how that will influence my choices moving forward.
      3. It helps me improve as a speaker and coach. This was a surprising insight for me. Writing helps me with defining the flow and structure of story telling to extract transferrable insights while minimising waffle.

    5 Principles

    When I first started writing again, it was tricky to get my tone of voice right.

    But I’ve found that if I write to a few basic principles each time, the articles have a chance of fairly expressing what matters to me.

        1. I don’t give advice. I share my experience and what has or hasn’t worked for me. My aim is that you can take or leave a lesson and adapt it to your own context. If relevant, I share from an evidence base with references and resources or at least be upfront if there’s an absence (eg my article on cold baths).
        2. I write about what most interests me. This means that any given article may not be of interest to everyone in my subscriber list, but I would much rather 10% of people absolutely love an article than to have most people find it “ok” or even “good”. This also ensures that I have the intrinsic motivation to create quality and stay the distance of ongoing content creation.
        3. I write about topics that I wish were discussed more often. This has led to me feeling exposed and vulnerable at times but I figure if I want a topic to be discussed, then I better be willing to step into the conversation. I’ve also found that my personal level of discomfort as I write is the best predictor of engagement once published.
        4. I aim for articles to be highly practical. If I can tease out ideas or tools or questions or scripts that can be quickly put into action then each article has a chance at having an immediate impact.
        5. I write for legacy. This means aiming to create content that might still be relevant, or even become more useful, in ten years time (aka evergreen content). This helps me take a long term view on the effort and investment that goes into each piece. I also often consider how a given article might read to my daughters as they grow up.

      Fear of failure and imposter syndrome

      The price of entry to publishing articles is my old friends fear of failure and imposter syndrome. They show up every time.

      My strategy has been to set the bar so low that I can’t fail.

      An article has to be so valuable to me personally that I would write it even if no one ever read it.

      That’s my insurance policy.

      The thought that it will end up in the public eye drives me to hone and craft the words but the very act of writing means I can’t lose.

      Perfectionism and contribution

      I’ve had to work hard to accept that an article is never complete. There are always ways in which it could be improved, tweaked or refined.

      But sooner or later I have to hit publish because, while it’s valuable to me to write privately, there’s no chance it will have an impact on others if it’s just sitting on my computer.

      is one of my core values that helps me to work through this particular brand of perfectionism.

      As does setting a fortnightly publishing cadence and allocating content creation time in my diary weekly.


      I’ve experimented with a bunch of tools over the years, and where I’ve landed is pretty simple.


      I keep my article ideas in Notion and add to the notes in each one over time.

      Then I shuffle the priority of what I’ll publish next based on a few factors like which one most excites me or themes from conversations with clients and friends.

      Notion has great basic formatting that translates well when I copy and paste into the various platforms I use for publishing (below).

      The mobile app is excellent too, so whether I’m sitting in a doctor’s waiting room or it’s the middle of the night, I can always capture new ideas or sub points easily on my phone.

      Unsplash + Canva

      Unsplash is great for choosing my base hi-res imagery.

      I add in the triangle using Canva to link the articles visually for article header images and social media posts.

      Publishing Checklist

      I’ve gradually built out my publishing checklist. It takes a few hours each time, but I don’t consider an article complete until these are all worked through:

          • Website
          • Photo credit
          • Blog post
                • categories added
                • SEO keyword optimised
            • Emailed to my email subscribers through Mailchimp
            • LinkedIn
                  • Article
                  • Header image
                  • Profile image
                  • #hashtags
              • Added to email signature
              • Medium
                    • Topics
                • Twitter
                      • #hashtags
                  • Instagram
                        • #hashtags
                    • Facebook
                          • #hashtags
                      • Call To Action
                      • Influencer outreach

                    My Top 5

                    As part of my reflection process for this piece, I did a review and found these were my top five articles for the last year based on metrics such as views, comments and shares. If you haven’t already, I hope you get the chance to read through them too.

                        1. Showing Up – My Olympic Inspiration, A Minute, A Few Words, An Old T-shirt, Pay It Forward
                        2. The Mirror Is The Hardest Place To Look
                        3. Contemplating Death – Stoicism, Deliberate Practice, Planes, Last Time, Calculating Days, Gratitude, Enough
                        4. Burnout In Women – Science, Recovery, Strategies, Decisions, Lessons [Dr Kellie Pritchard-Peschek]
                        5. My Olympic Crucible – The Critic, The Optimist, Task Focussed Attention, Checklists, Non-Duality, My New Inspiration

                      Beating AI and ChatGPT

                      A final thought on my writing for now, is that in a world of AI and ChatGPT, the only way I can see to compete is to double down on human interaction.

                      In my writing this means my focus has to be on the human story, quality over quantity and utility in extracting the insights.

                      I’ve loved rediscovering writing. It’s been incredibly valuable to me this last year.

                      So thanks for your support.

                      I hope these articles are valuable for you too.

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