Several years ago I entered a competition by Australian Book Publishers Allen and Unwin, in which they asked “what inspires you to write?” The answer had to fit in 25 words, and while I can’t remember my answer word for word, it was something along the lines of: ‘I am inspired to write when I hear stories of other people achieving their goals’. The answer won me the competition – the prize: a signed book of Jodi Picoult’s – Vanishing Acts I think, though i could be wrong.
But what inspired me to want to write in the first place? To be completely honest I don’t remember. I guess it was all the books I read as a child; I’m told I was reading novels in grade 1, and I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I vaguely remember meeting children’s author Sally Farrell Odgers in primary school. I don’t remember any specifics, I guess I was in grade 2 or 3, but I was excited to meet a real live author. Several years later, in grade 6, I was lucky enough to attend a writing workshop (again through my school) by Isobel Carmody. She was a great inspiration, talking of her journey to publication, and her stories and where she came up with names. Sadly I’ve forgotten what she said about names though – I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that names are something I really struggle with.
Since then I’ve been inspired, motivated, encouraged etc by many different people but looking back I would say meeting those two authors set the foundation for my goal of being an author myself one day.