Today’s episode of Unclassified Woman is a little different in that I’m talking to an author of a work of fiction, rather than non-fiction, about the topic of not having a child.
Do you ever feel judged by others because you’ve not had a child? Not surprisingly, many women feel this judgment of “assumptions” behind the choices or circumstances that have determined their situation.
One lady decided to take those judgmental scenarios, and do something constructive with them. She wrote a novel which explores many of the situations that women find themselves in with family, friends and colleagues. I was really interested to read this book as whilst there are many non-fiction works about the topic, it’s not the norm to find many novels.
My guest today is Jane Doucet, a Canadian writer based in Halifax – and she knows that feeling of being judged all too well.
Since 1993, Jane has worked in various capacities for national magazines in Canada. As a freelance writer since 1998, she has written dozens of feature articles on health, parenting, gardening, entertainment, education, business, and other diverse topics for award-winning Canadian magazines and newspapers.
In 2003, Jane wrote the first draft of her debut novel, The Pregnant Pause.
She wrote the book that SHE wanted to read, one that sent a positive message to women who assumed they’d have children, but for whatever reason, have not. Following a negative experience with a literary agent in the UK, Jane shelved the manuscript for 14 years.
Fast forward to 2016, when Jane dusted off her manuscript and self-published her book, in order to maintain creative control. The story is loosely based on her own experiences but is also representative of many women’s journeys.
Having read the book myself, I could relate to the situations, commentary, and assumptions that people make when you arrive at a certain age without offspring in sight. I hope you enjoy my wonderful conversation with Jane about her fascinating novel!
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- What led Jane to write The Pregnant Pause
- An inspiration for the book at the time? Bridget Jones’ Diary
- The uncomfortable and unfortunate experience with a literary agent in London
- The misassumptions people make about a woman with no children
- Addressing the topic with a light and humorous work of fiction
- How books and articles helped her write the book
- Changes in women’s friendships around having/not having children
- Different ways to “mother” without having a biological child
- How statistics around the world support the growing demographic
- Why Jane’s book is not “just for women”
- How the book includes relatable experiences for almost everyone
- Why Jane speaks for the silent voices
- How labels limit women
- How writing brings creative fulfilment
- Ideas for Jane’s next book!
- Every woman’s story and perspective is valid and unique
- The main message of the book: “Don’t judge someone whose journey is different than yours, as you never know the full story.”
You can find out more about Jane and buy her book here.
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