Today is International Women’s Day, and I am taking a literary approach to mark the occasion! Over the course of the day, I will be sharing a series of posts featuring a selection of Australian authors and their fantastic books!
To kick of this global celebration of women, my first Feature Author is Jan Muir, from Brisbane.
“I grew up in country Victoria, moving to Darwin in my teen years. As a young ten-year-old, I reached state championships in Athletics, even winning a gold medal. I showed great potential, but my dreams and goals of reaching more gold were gone in one split second. It only took one family member’s comment to shatter my dreams, and I would never run again.
I have witnessed and experienced many life changing events. In 1998 I faced losing my partner of thirty odd years to the disease Alzheimer’s Dementia. In the year 2000, I placed him in a home. In late 2001, I uprooted from Darwin and moved to Brisbane. In 2002, my partner passed away, and a year after that my daughter moved back to Darwin to start a fresh life.
In 2005, I was diagnosed with pre cervical cancer, however it was caught in time and I was given the all-clear. My relief was crushed just six short months later, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I now faced radical surgery, and had to fight to keep the dream alive again.
In the wake of a second recovery, I faced the gradual return to work after nine months away from employment. During this challenging time, I wrote lots of notes on parts of my life as a way of coping. I always enjoyed writing at school, I just had a knowing inside that one day I would write a book.
I was driving on a road somewhere in outback NSW when a thought entered my head.
Why don’t you write a book? I heard the little voice in my head speak, and it was from that moment on I knew I would start to write.
It took some months to bring it all together, then one day on a very crowded bus on my way home from work an idea entered my head with such clarity. I had to write it all down as I travelled on the bus. What came from that thought was the layout of my chapters and the beginning of my book started to take shape.
It wasn’t until around 2009 that I had the chance to study Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and then it finally clicked. I started to write about my experiences, and bring these writings and bring this into a book.
Officially my penmanship to become an author started around late 2010, and I just kept
at it until in 2012 when I self-published my first book. Was it right? No. Was I good at it? No. Did I learn from it? Yes.
I faced another adversity in 2012, when I was retrenched from my long career in the public service after having been employed for over 30 years. I re wrote the book in 2015. This has led me on a path of new discovery to want to write more. I currently have seven books on the go with my publishing team, all falling into place. One of these books is about my athletic days, and the journey of my life and what I learnt along the way.
The journey to publishing was a massive expansion of knowledge, and a journey that I am so proud of. From the dreams of compositions in school with the thought of ‘one day’, to the proud moment when I first held my book in my hands. It really is possible for anyone.
My main inspiration is to inspire young adults to see themselves already achieving what they desire in life. My message is adaptable and can be applied to anyone in life.
I enjoy writing anything from a good letter, which can be a very informative descriptive
piece to write, to sharing a good story of highs and lows in life. Whilst I was coping with
the loss of my partner I tended to journal a lot in the form of letters to a very close
girlfriend who was a great friend and still is today. It helped me process the pain and
anxiousness I was witnessing coping with losing my partner to the Disease Alzhiemers
Now, I enjoy writing most inspirational pieces that motivate and encourage you to take
that next leap of faith. To understand that everything we need comes from within.
I find writing a way of solving a problem for me. It allows me to dump it out and gain
clarity on the matter then I can see things more clearly and in most cases a solution
come forth and I can move forward. I enjoy it as well and I enjoy letting the words
bounce through my fingers as I type, it kind of brings the whole of me into a oneness
that really has me feeling good about myself.
You can find out more about Jan and her book The Well Used Key by visiting her website www.ibelieveiachieve.com