Authenticity

The past month has been challenging. At the beginning of the month I had somehow found myself utterly lost. After having some incredible adventures in August and September, with the launch of Charlie’s Adventures…in South Africa and book tours both virtually and overseas, I felt I had come down from a very high peak and suddenly (and quite dramatically) crashed.

The months prior were truly remarkable as doors began to open, I was liaising with some of the best publishers in Australia on submissions. However, in October instead of eagerly  pursuing these opportunities, I was sabotaging myself, fear started to creep back in. I was at such a low that I didn’t have the courage to share my work. I was stalling. I found myself making excuses not to sit in front of the computer.  I didn’t want to write. I didn’t know what to write. I was not motivated and I had forgotten how to create. Despite the kind words, positive book reviews and feedback I was receiving from those around me, I was discouraged. I felt I had lost my voice. I didn’t have the bravery to go on. I had put all of myself out in the world and I was spent.

Fortunately, mid-month, I had been asked to deliver a workshop on authenticity, voice and writing about topics that matter to you. Three crucial ingredients that are needed by any author, that in the process of my own journey I had misplaced. The workshop could not have come at a better time. As I began to ponder the topic and focus my attention on preparing a session that would inspire my audience of high-school students, I started to find myself again. I connected to my why, my purpose, my personal reason for writing. Presenting my workshop to a warm and friendly group of students and their teachers, was also what I desperately needed. Going through a variety of writing exercises and imparting what I had learned about being an author, what I am still learning and what I hope to learn, made me realise I needed to keep pushing through my own challenges, my own setbacks and my own fears. I had actually come quite far and there is so much more I want to achieve.    

When I attended the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Los Angeles, there were several discussions on authenticity. Authenticity is your heartbeat and it gives your stories a heartbeat. Our truth, our unique way of looking at the world and our own passions makes each one of us exceptional creatures. By staying true to your authenticity and not wavering despite the myriad of circumstances we encounter each day is fundamental to living a remarkable life.

October made me realise that although it is alright to find yourself lost from time to time, reflecting on what makes you so special will always lead you back to your authentic self and you will find your rare and valuable self again. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH

Had such a lovely afternoon talking about authenticity & voice with year 9 & 10 students at a special writers retreat. One of my favourite parts of being an author is having the chance to share what I have learned so far & help others. So grateful for this opportunity ✨

A lovely review of Charlie’s Adventures…in South Africa 🇿🇦 Thank you to the Children’s Book Council of Australia Reading Time team http://readingtime.com.au/charlies-adventures-in-south-afr…/

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