Inspirational Top Up

Last week was like standing by the Southern Ocean in a gale. I ran into the wind, trying to keep up with the ‘should’s’ in my life. Monday morphed into Friday and then the weekend came. I’d tried to write but the kept deleting the fragments on the page. Poetic words floated past evading my intentions to capture them.

Stress does that, a cement beanie on the soaring mind.

But I had something to look forward to the first Sunbury Literary Festival and my closest friend had bought tickets. We went.

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Rupertswood Mansion: photo Lindy Schneider


Bruno Lettieri had put together an impressive line up:

  • Helen Garner
  • Michael Leunig
  • Fr Bob
  • Alice Pung
  • Lee Palumbo
  • Barry Garner
  • Ailsa Piper
  • Amy Bodossian

The music by Sarah Carroll finished the evening perfectly.


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Helen Garner: photo Gina Hurley

For me it was another learning opportunity. What if I were being interviewed?

  • How do authors present themselves?
  • How do they deal with tricky questions?
  • How are the interviews crafted?
  • How is the take home message delivered?
  • How do they answer audience questions?


Just sit down and relax, I told myself.

I walked in frazzled and flat, seeking inspiration and walked out inspired. Helen Garner mentioned the power of writing in the first person which I am currently doing. She also emphasised the strength that authenticity lends to a piece of writing, something she gains from drawing on her personal experience. She shared freely.


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Michael Leunig: photo Gina Hurley

Michael Leunig told his story of how his doodles became a medium to express his opinions on social, environmental and philosophical matters. His talk gave insight into a man whose quirky take on recent events has often left me smiling, even if it’s in a wry way. He spoke of the fragility of the creative process and the skill of approaching any task with the genuine desire to arrive at an outcome. This desire seems to be the key to success without expectations of how the end point might look. To him sitting in front of a blank page is an opportunity which with time and desire will reveal the result. This is a technique I must add to my personal writing arsenal. His big picture take on life inspired the whole room.

The last six speakers had an opportunity to reflect on life in response to a given poem. The power of story telling held us spell-bound. We laughed, we pondered and we were inspired. Each told their story, their take on life. How courageous!

So write, write and write. Share your story. Your individual take adds colour to the world. Share it. You might be the inspiration someone else needs to get through their day. Your writing might be company for someone sitting alone in a duck blue chair. Don’t feel intimidated. Even the greatest writers at times sat in judgement of their work. If they can get over themselves so can you.

Do the world a favour, write!



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