The Hyphen: The Child-Free By Choice Convo

Hi friends—

How are you?

I’ve had quite the week, connecting and chatting to so many different women (mothers, non-mothers, soon-to-be mothers, hoping-to-be mothers) in my DMs, emails, tweets about the childfree-by-choice dialogue off the back of a few articles I wrote this week.

It’s been so interesting and enriching to connect in this way on such a layered and nuanced subject. I’ve had so many beautiful messages; and felt genuinely honoured that so many strangers would open up to me and let me in to some of their deepest most private thoughts. It’s made me even more excited about OLIVE coming out — which, of course, is why I’m talking about this topic.

I didn't actually plan to put myself out there so publicly regarding the childfree-by-choice conversation (there's a reason why I chose to write about this as a novel) but it turns out I really want to, because I think the conversation matters.

My protagonist OLIVE knows she doesn’t want children, and she’s navigating her own path alongside her three best friends who all are — or want to be — mothers. It’s about friendship, crossroads, and carving our own unique path.

I wrote a piece for ELLE called “The Motherhood Rejection: 'We Didn’t Need A Baby To Make Us Feel Complete” and apparently this was one of the top read articles on their website this week! Sounds like it’s a conversation that is really kicking off and I’m so pleased about that because I know the first time I read an article by a child-free woman it made me feel less alone, and therefore quite relieved.

I also wrote a piece for Grazia for their print issue which is now also online called “I'm Child-Free By Choice - And Not Everyone Accepts That.” I've had comments describing child-free women as 'selfish;' telling me I’ll 'have regrets' and ‘never experience true love’. I’ve even been told, ‘You’ll be miserable when you’re old and grey.’

All I'm trying to do here is to show that a happy fulfilled life has many different versions to it. These type of comments don’t bother me too much, but can be extremely hurtful to women whose lives turned out differently to what they expected. This is why I wrote OLIVE, to crack open this conversation across the spectrum.

(Oh… and… keep your eye out on Thursday — OLIVE’s publication day — for a very special podcast announcement…)

*then I’m going on holiday and you won’t hear a peep out of me.
*for a bit.

Hope you enjoy today’s newsletter. (If there’s anything you’d like me to share in next week’s newsletter, you can email me at

Emma xo


You are invited to my (virtual)


(on 22nd July, 7pm!)


What’s New on

Ctrl Alt Delete Podcast?

This week's podcast is with Sophie Heawood, debut author of The Hungover Games.

I've followed Sophie's work for years, I've loved her columns in the Guardian, VICE and her brilliant newsletter. Now her first book The Hungover Games is out — it is a beautiful memoir about single motherhood and what to expect when you weren't expecting to be expecting. I read it in a day, and I think you will also love it. 

Listen here (or via any pod apps!)


New on the blog…


In case you missed it:

— I’m doing an event with How To Academy on Monday (tomorrow!!). I think you can still grab a ticket here.
— Come and join Good Housekeeping’s Summer Book Day (I’m doing a livestream on their FB page on 26th July).


Click here to join 50,000+ students by signing up to my Skillshare class! "5 Exercises To Build Creative Confidence"


Thanks for subscribing! I'm Emma, the person behind this newsletter. I am the bestselling author of The Multi-Hyphen Method and the soon-to-be-published novel OLIVE, and creator of the hit podcast series Ctrl Alt Delete. You can also follow me on Instagram here, and Twitter here.

Older messages

The Hyphen: Vulnerability & “I Don’t Know”

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Your weekly recommendations Hi friends— How are you doing? I don't know whether it's the pandemic, or since turning 31, but I am feeling a shift in how I embrace and show my own vulnerability.

The Hyphen: Stuck In A Creative Void During Lockdown

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Your weekly recommendations Hi friends— How are you doing? I feel like I have NO new ideas this week (slash… the past few months). Nada. Zero. Zilch. I know this happens sometimes, and is very normal

The Hyphen: Late To The Game But Obsessed With Audiobooks

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Your weekly recommendations Hi friends— How are you doing? Another week on the coronacoaster. Last week was pretty rough and involved drinking a lot of wine in the bath, but this week has been a

The Hyphen: Podcasts Have Got Me Through Lockdown

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Your weekly recommendations Hi friends— How are you doing this week? I've been thinking a lot about podcasting this week. I don't know about you, but podcasts really have got me through

The Hyphen: Cancel Culture vs Call-Out Culture

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Your weekly recommendations Hi friends— How are you doing this week? I've noticed cancel culture has become slightly more intense during lockdown. As writer Ryan O'Connell said: “X was

The Pillow That Will Help You Sleep Better ASAP

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Real Simple Shopping Troubled Sleepers Say This Casper Pillow Is 'Worth Every Penny'—and It's on Sale Casper's popular sleep pillow, which has earned over 2600 five-star ratings, is the

The Mental Health "Dip" (How to Handle It)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The dip always happens. It always follows the highs. Nothing great can last forever. New habits last The Mental Health "Dip" (How to Handle It) By Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter

Lit Hub Daily: January 27, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Lit Hub Daily January 27, 2021 TODAY: In 1898, the publication of the first part of Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw appears in Collier's Weekly magazine. TODAY: In 1898, the

The Daily Good | 1.27.21 💖 Our readers share the meaning of their favorite tattoos

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021 I waited a very long time for a love that was withheld from me, an acceptance that was conditional. How freeing it was to find my happiness and healing are not tethered to another.

"Surah" by Tarfia Faizullah

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

the falling paper flower / the plastic tree branch Facebook Twitter Instagram Support Poem-a-Day January 27, 2021 Surah Tarfia Faizullah the falling paper flower the plastic tree branch the plight of

Daily Skimm: Fresh photos with the bomb lighting

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Skimm'd while adding "Skimm This" to our queue January 27, 2021 Read in Browser Skimm This DailySkimm' Skimm'd while adding "Skimm This" to our queue Listen Now Quote of

Throwback haircut trends are taking over 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

AQUARIUS SEASON 2021 NAIL COLORS The 7 Haircut Trends Experts Predict Will Take Over 2021, Including the Bowl Cut HelloGiggles What Does Serum Do, Exactly? Shape 7 Hair and Makeup Looks from Bridgerton

Billie Eilish got incredibly vulnerable about that viral paparazzi photo

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The wolf full moon is happening View this email as a web page HelloGiggles NOW HEAR THIS Billie Eilish got incredibly vulnerable about that viral paparazzi photo and her "horrible body

10 Unforgettable Celebrity Mother-Daughter Fashion Moments

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Cindy & Kaia, Zoë & Lisa, Melanie & Dakota, oh my. 10 Unforgettable Celeb Mom & Daughter Style Moments celebrity style | January 26, 2021 10 Unforgettable Celeb Mother-Daughter Fashion

Should I Send My Resume as a PDF or Word Document?

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

If you haven't been out testing the waters of the job market for a long time, dusting off your resume... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ Do everything better Tuesday, January 26, 2021