Author Toni Brisland Shares About What Inspires Her Writing

September 21st, 2020
Many things inspire me but one thing in particular is high achievers; and, Patrick White was a high achiever. 

The White family believed “we are what we are born to be, free only to shape the lives fate has given us” (David Marr’s biography of Patrick White) and if Patrick White had become what his family had always been and what they wanted him to be, he would have been a wealthy land owner in NSW who ran sheep. 

Instead, Patrick White broke with family tradition because he wanted to be a writer. In my book for middle readers “Patrick White” I introduce them to one of our most famous Australians and hope to inspire children to follow their dreams.

Patrick White was goal-focused and self-disciplined.  In his autobiography “Flaws in the Glass” he said: “I grew conscious of wanting to be a writer on leaving my hated English school and returning to the Australia I had longed for. No, it wasn’t so much a case of growing consciousness as a matter of necessity. Surrounded by a vacuum, I needed a world in which to live with the degree of intensity my temperament demanded”. He was at school in England at Cheltenham Collage from 13 to 17 years of age. 

When he returned to Australia, Patrick White started writing feverously and was driven to achieve his goal: to be an accomplished and noted writer. He fought his limitations of self-doubt and poor health. He never wavered from his course throughout his entire life. High achievers shape their outcome and that is just what Patrick White did. What I particularly like about Patrick White’s writing is that he writes about Australia, the landscape and the people. He left a rich legacy of work and awards. 
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