While I've been writing ever since I could pick up a pen (although at first it was a pencil) it took me many years, and even more careers, before I could actually say, ‘I’m a writer.’ But a writer I am. And it’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.
As a little girl I fell in love with writing poetry and when I was ten years old my parents published a collection of my poems. The book was (creatively) titled, ‘Poems of a Ten Year Old.’ Feeling that little book in my hand with my name on the cover sparked the beginning of a lifelong dream to becoming a published author.
But first I would pass through many other careers, some more successful than others. They included sports administration and management (I have a degree in Human Movement), acting, modelling, talent management, recruitment and eventually corporate training and coaching, specialising in public speaking skills. While working as a television presenter for a local cable station in Los Angeles, I discovered I had a debilitating fear of public speaking (not the most convenient moment to discover this). After returning to Sydney, I signed up for so many public speaking courses I was eventually asked to run them. By helping others to overcome their fear of public speaking I was able to overcome my own. In 2005 I set up my own corporate coaching and training company working specialising in public speaking skills, working with everyone from CEO’s to artists across a range of industries. It was fulfilling work.
Alongside each of my ‘other’ careers I was always writing. I received my first break to write professionally (as in I was paid) when I was 22 and living in Los Angeles. A good friend of mind worked for a Californian fashion magazine and put in a good word with the editor. I soon found myself attending Hollywood parties, interviewing celebrities and industry leaders and then writing about it. Upon returning to Australia I worked as a freelance writer, including seven years as a regular contributor and columnist for Nature & Health, one of Australia's leading health and wellbeing magazines.
In 2011, I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and do the one thing I had always wanted to do but was terrified of doing: write a book. My first book Real, Raw & Original: An Authentic Approach to Public Speaking was about my experience as a public speaking coach. Writing this book was one of the hardest things I've ever done but then once you've written your first book, you never have to write it again. My second book Finding Paris, about a relationship break up and a subsequent trip to Pars in search of love, was a far more enjoyable experience. It was also a more enjoyable read, and is now in its third reprint thanks to my wonderful publishers at Brio Books.
My third book turned out to be a dud and led me to abandon writing for the first time in my life. This, I would later discover, would be a grave mistake. Without realising it, I found myself in a very dark place from which I could see no escape. In early 2015, I made a attempt to take my own life which led to a stint in Intensive Care and almost two weeks in hospital. It was during my recovery I realised writing wasn't only my job, it helped me make sense of the world; it was my medicine. Writing, I learned, helps me to stay emotionally and spiritually well in the world. It’s something I have to do whether I’m published or not.
This experience would become the premise for my next book Write Way Home: Writing My Way Back to a Meaningful Life in which I detail the story of the creative challenge I set myself (to write two thousand words a day for thirty-one days) as a way of writing my way back to the person I was and wanted to be again. To my great delight, the book was picked up by Brio Books, along with my earlier self-published book, Finding Paris. One of the great rewards of being an author is receiving emails from people who have read one of my books and how it’s helped them through a dark time or put a smile on their face.
My next book Meet Me in Milan, which is the follow up to Finding Paris, will be published in August 2019. And I’ve just started working on my next book, to be my first work of fiction. After all, I’ve learned that while stories begin and end, the trick is to just keep writing.
So, that's all from me for now. Thanks for dropping by. If you'd like to stay connected, and I hope you do, then just click here.