Finding My Talent

When I was growing up, I didn’t feel like I had a particular talent.

I learned flute and piano, but I wasn’t very good. I also didn’t have a passion for it like my sister did. It was just something I did and I could take it or leave it.

I read a lot of books, but that didn’t feel like a talent, same with writing stories.

I was interested in maths, science, history, and almost every other subject at school, except for PE, but my results weren’t spectacular.

It was in upper high school where I was given more opportunities to write. During VCE (year 11 and 12), I had a communication project where I interviewed former students from our school and wrote articles for the school newspaper. I also got my first article published in our local newspaper! I also wrote stories, plays, poems, and anything else as part of my Writing Folio assessment. I won a couple of awards.

I thought that I had finally found my talent.

Then I was told that the only way to have a career in writing was journalism. I was also told, a number of years later, that if I wanted a career in creative writing, I would have to choose one thing – picture books or novels or non fiction – I couldn’t do it all.

When I studied journalism at university, I realised that wasn’t for me. But I didn’t know what that could be.

For a while, I thought it was small business… I started the first mums in business network in Australia in 2002 when my son was 6 months old. Even that didn’t last.

I worked for a small business and found that bookkeeping was something I could do, especially problem solving when that was needed. Solving problems was fun, but the day to day bookkeeping didn’t feel like a talent.

In 2013, I was invited to run a writing workshop for teens at my local library. I have been doing that for ten years now, and it always felt a bit awkward as everyone else was running a ‘how to write’ workshop, and I wasn’t.

In 2020, I bought Junior Writers Club, and again, something didn’t quite sit right as it wasn’t about ‘how to write’, yet people loved my groups and programs.

It wasn’t until last year, when I was invited to a primary school for a wellbeing day, as well as a lot of reflection, that it hit me.

I have a talent in empowering others to be their best selves.

The programs that I have run, from supporting mums to start businesses around their kids to inspiring teenagers to find their voices through creative writing, to talking to young people about being neurospicy, it’s all about helping others find their thing, to find their talent.

The writers groups inspire participants to play and have fun, find stories and ways of expression that suit them. Even my financial record keeping workshops have options for participants to find the way that suits them and their needs the most.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with this new information & realisation… watch this space and I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

One thing I am sure is that I will keep coming up with fun and quirky programs to help those who take part engage and have fun, along with writing more stories, running more workshops and generally helping others find what works for them.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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