Share your “career game-changing moment”. Please share an experience which propelled you to step up your game or which made you change your perspective on your career.
When I won the TAG Hungerford Award for Fiction and found out my first book would be published, I suddenly felt like a real writer. As if I could call myself a writer. From that moment on, writing no longer seemed like an impossible dream but like something I could actually do. And I loved it, so I decided then and there that I would do everything I could to allow myself to keep writing, to keep following my passion, to continue being published.
Name a writer mentor/friend/colleague/partner who you think deserves a shout-out and why are they so special to you, how do they assist you with your writing?
Fellow Perth Writer Dawn Barker. I met Dawn when we were both on a panel together at the Perth Writers’ Festival. She also has three young children and manages to write and work like me and her books have done so well. We’re in a writing group together and she always gives great feedback on my book-in-progress. She’s also a lovely person and she’s always encouraged me through the ups and downs of being a writer. So she’s like a friend and a motivator and a critique partner and an inspiration all rolled up into one amazing bundle!
One piece of advice for the all the aspiring writer types out there (eg. journalist, copywriter, blogger, editor, creative etc) who are yet to be published or starting on their writing journey or freelance business.
Keep going. It’s so easy to give up. There have been many times where I’ve wondered if I should stop and do something else that has a more certain outcome. But if you love writing, and you’re always striving to improve and to learn, then you should never give up.
What would you call your autobiography and who you would dedicate it to?
In homage to one of my favourite writers, Joan Didion, I’d call it A Lifetime of Magical Thinking. That’s because it describes how I am; I’m always dreaming of stories and playing around in my imagination and making things up. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, a part of my brain is conjuring up some other, more exciting, tale.
The best way writers should “find their writing voice?”
Write. That sounds a bit facetious but it’s so very true. Just like you have to play lots of scales and gradually harder pieces of music to become a pianist, so you have to sit down and write lots of different things in order to find your writing voice. So don’t just try to write a novel. Write poetry and short stories and essays and blogs and love letters and anything else you can think of. They all require you to use different parts of your writing muscle and, in doing that, you’ll find your writing voice.
You can find more of Natasha’s pearls of wisdom, time management and the processes
she uses to help write her books at her blog over here.