#brunotheboisterousbluedogfromthebush #blogtour #booksontour #day5
You never know how a writer’s talent has been approached by influential people throughout their life. It’s an interesting journey, and certainly for us outsiders to learn. This is Robyn’s story…
From an early age I enjoyed reading, writing and creating fantasy worlds. My parents were both avid readers and encouraged my love of books.
As I grew up, my appetite for literature led me to books which were far beyond what the average teenager read. I happily journeyed to Middle Earth, lost myself in Huxley’s alternative universes, was intrigued by Steinbeck’s social commentary and haunted by Plath’s poetry. Reading became my escape from the real world.
This obsessive reading led to a fascination with the beauty of words. My first thesaurus was a revelation; a book brimming with the most marvellous alternatives to the prosaic words of everyday.
Exposure to brilliant authors and poets, combined with the wonderful world of words helped my creative juices to flow. At aged 14, I found myself deeply in love with literature and out of sync with my peers.
I began to write well-crafted short stories, in-depth book reviews and flowery poetry. An essay about a wolf cub took me weeks to create. Filled with some beautiful descriptive sentences, I constantly edited and re-wrote the story, until I felt it was nearly perfect. Even now, re-reading it gives me goose bumps of pleasure. For someone my age, it was outstanding.
Enter my Grade 9 teacher. Did she appreciate my writing, nurture my talent and inspire me to greater heights? Alas, she did not. This was a rural Queensland in the 1970’s. Programs of excellence and Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences were years away. My wolf cub story led to accusations of copying and plagiarising. I retreated further into my world of books and lost interest in writing. Looking back, I appreciate I was an oddity; a clever, shy girl who had difficulties fitting in, but the thoughtlessness of my teacher has never been forgotten. The experience made me aware of the damage that educators can do to a student’s self-esteem, and this knowledge has stayed with me as a teacher.
Luckily this story has a happy ending. My Grade 11 and 12 English teacher was much more enlightened. With his support and encouragement, English once again became my favourite subject at school and my writing (and confidence) flourished. On the publication of my first book (a junior novel) nearly 30 years later, I made contact with this inspirational teacher and passed on my heartfelt thanks as well as a complimentary copy of the book! Without his influence at that time in my life, I doubt I would ever have become a writer.
For more fascinating insights into Robyn Osborne’s writing life, please head to Norah Colvin’s resource site, readilearn! 🙂
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