Scene from Brisbane Writer's Festival with a sign encouraging people to read, provoke, imagine, belong
Scene from Brisbane Writer's Festival with a sign encouraging people to read, provoke, imagine, belong

Supermum feeling her way in writing

I attended a number of masterclasses, which were amazingly inspiring.

But it was the first event I attended, the opening address, that has been the biggest topic of conversation.

Apparently it was a night of offending people. I say apparently, because I wasn't offended.

Yes I was there, but I missed the part where American author Lionel Shriver, who was doing the opening speech, caused a storm of controversy, as was talked about in social media circles.

She didn't stay on the set topic of connection and belonging right from the beginning and she made no apologies for that.

She talked about a number of things, which included racism and political correctness, which didn't sit right for some.

I heard writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who was in the audience, walked out in protest. I saw her leave, but a few others were walking around too, so it didn't occur to me at the time it was on purpose.

The thing is, I found Lionel's point of view interesting, mostly because it was different to mine.

I honestly thought that was what we were meant to do as a writer. To take our readers to other places, even other worlds.

To get our readers to think outside their own life and experience something different, even just through words and not in real life.

It is what I love about reading.

It is what has encouraged me to aim higher than ever before in my own life, to achieve things that I initially only knew were possible through the pages in books.

I love that by the simple act of reading I can feel a variety of emotions.

I always say the best books are ones that make me laugh and cry, but I love any book that evokes emotion. I have read books that scared me, haunted me and some that disgusted me.

The only bad book is one that makes me feel nothing at all.

I only hope that one day I can be a writer that people say has made them think, or even better, feel.


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