What inspires us is different for everyone. 

As young children, we’re all creative. We draw, sing, build, and dream. Yet somewhere along the way – due to the influence of others or our own insecurity – many of us put down these creative instincts.

PaperBarkTree encourages young people to write creatively.  We also encourage young people to draw or design a creative image to complement their story.

Creativity is about expressing yourself.  It is about trying new things and new ways of being. Creativity involves being imaginative and original.

What or who inspires you?

Young people were asked what inspires them and here are some quotes about Inspiration

“Books, photos and music and experiences… I get a lot of my ideas when I’m out walking cause it clears my head which is usually when the random ideas pop on in. I like to always keep a sketchbook or notebook with me to write ideas down. People also inspire me. People I know mostly but sometimes I’ll see a random person and create a story for them. I guess a lot of different things inspire me” Ivy.

“Most of my inspiration comes from photos, music, scenes, quotes and ‘what ifs’. Dreams fit in there too, whether it be ‘wouldn’t it be awesome if this happened’ or actual dreams which I find extremely imaginative haha I have so many pages on this poor computer of phrases or paragraphs that have just popped into my head, but yeah :)” Ellen.

“Music really inspires me, what I hear, from lyrics and from the stories of the people around me too. Being with the people I love, they usually give me ideas. Whatever they do, I fictionalize it!” Eon.

“Lots of things inspire me. Sometimes I just get my ideas by simply sleeping. Yes, I sleep of some of my ideas. Usually old photos, art, society, friends & family, and my favourite authors are some …” Megan.

“Anywhere. sometimes I watch videos on YouTube and I think, ‘hey, that’s a good story idea!’ or I might listen to a song and the words inspire me. I like daydreaming a lot, so sometimes I get ideas from that.
sometimes an idea just comes randomly!!!! its just too hard to explain… ” Marius

I hope that these quotes help inspire you and see where your inspiration might come from.  There are some similarities here. I hope this helps you write your story and then get it out there for others to enjoy. 

Remember you can publish your story online at ‘Branching Out’ on

Good luck with writing and feel free to contact me.  Contact details are on the website.  


Creative Writing
Creative Writing

There are a number of ways to foster creativity and listen to your inspiration.  Below are some ideas of how to help you become a confident creative writer.

  • Do you have a story inside you?

Many young people have stories and ideas and they are writing them down in diaries or stories for school but the question is often, how can I become a proper author? or should I keep writing? There is an idea out there that it takes 10,000 hours to master the art of writing.  For the creative writing purpose the most important thing is to keep writing.

  • Listen To Your Heart Not Your Head

If you have something to say, say it. If your heart is telling you to write something, write it. Writing is about empowering yourself to overcome yourself.

  • Idea Collection Sheet and then Mind Mapping

I use unlined paper as lined paper tends to shut down the right brain. Try turning your paper sideways (landscape) so you can see more of the page at one time. Write the topic in the centre and circle it (or quickly sketch a symbol representing the essence or theme of what you plan to write).  Just do this for 5-7 minutes.  Write as many ideas related to this topic as you can. This becomes your Idea Collection Sheet.  After completing the initial mental burst, take a short break to incubate related ideas. Keep the Idea Collection Sheet in a handy place so when more ideas come to you, you can easily jot them down.

Now to create a  Mind Map with your ideas.  Using various symbols (                              ) helps categorise the points on the Idea Collection Sheet. This process could highlight a number of main themes related to your ideas. You could draw a circle around all ideas related to theme 1; a diamond for theme 2, etc. These symbols show you how many ideas relate to each theme.

  • Conversion from Mind Map to your story

This is where you put your ideas into a story form.  You need to consider the following ideas for your creative writing.

  1. Setting the scene – where does your story take place?
  2. Introduce your characters – who are they? what do they look like? are they friends?
  3. Conflict or problem – what do the characters need to solve?
  4. Story development – write about what happens in the story in relation to the problem
  5. Resolution or solution – how was the problem solved? who helped solve the problem?
  6. Story ending – how does your story finish? Will this story continue in another book?
  7. Excitement levels – keep in mind the excitement levels you want your readers to experience.
  • ·      Not everyone will like your story – don’t worry about it (but learn about editing)

There is a lot of criticism in being a writer, but don’t let it get you down. Not everyone will like your writing. Do you like every story you read? Probably not and that’s ok isn’t it? You don’t need to. So it goes for your story. You will want everyone to love your writing but they won’t. Family can be the most critical and that will hurt a lot. Sometimes it’s best to keep it a secret.

There is also a difference between criticism that doesn’t help and constructive criticism which could also be called editing. This is very important for all writers. We all need editors to help us improve. It’s like having a coach at school and we learn that way. An editor will help you to improve what you have. Basically, someone saying your writing is terrible doesn’t help. Someone who says that you need to add some dialogue and improve this character in this specific way is helpful.

·       Find your creative zone

Every writer, every artist, needs to find their creative zone of genius. Can you make a space in your room? Is there space outside? A zone which feels creative and supports your creative energy.

·      Writing is a process

A first draft is a first draft. Writing is a process. The best thing I did was not to delete anything while I was writing my first draft. It’s not just about the initial writing. There is a process in becoming an author and you need to keep writing.  Your writing will never be as bad, or as good, as you think it is.

·      Put yourself out there and try online networking for support

Spend some time on your favourite network finding a group that might suit you. It may be that the best encouragement you can get is from another young person on the other side of the world. Now you can email someone in another country. Look for someone who you can talk to about being a young writer. Encourage each other and you can always read each other’s work – but be kind and supportive.

I hope that these prompts will help you writing your story and then getting your story out there.  Remember you can publish your story online at ‘Branching Out’ on

Good luck with writing and feel free to contact me.  Contact details are on the website.


Penny Pademelon Meets Bandicoot Bob
Penny Pademelon Meets Bandicoot Bob

Penny Pademelon was born in the Border Ranges and loves her view of Wollumbin and Blue Knob.  Penny shares the place with a number of animals.  She loves Kylie, who owns the house on the hill, because she is an artist and loves beautiful things.  One day things change for Penny – Bandicoot Bob and his brother Jack appear.  This story looks at relationships and urban sprawl (soon to be released).

Second Edition of ‘Mum, What’s Happening to our Water?’
Second Edition of ‘Mum, What’s Happening to our Water?’


Hi and thanks to everyone who continue to support PaperBarkTree.

I am writing a second edition of the CSG book – Mum, What’s Happening to our Water?.  The first edition told Amy’s story and how CSG mining impacted on her family and her community.  The story is based on facts gathered via interviews and discussions with many people directly affected by CSG mining. These people have been involved in the anti-CSG mining movement either as victims, as protestors, or both. Their experiences are real!

After discussions with community members, I realised that people want to know what they can do and how they can be more informed.

The second edition will contain important information and links to sites to help you

  • find out who to contact to get more information
  • find out how to lodge your protest, and also suggest most appropriate person to write to
  • find out how to connect with other people and groups in your area
  • find out how to address the health concerns you have for you and your family.


The second edition will have information for children as well as adults. It also contains more photos of Amy and her family.


I am writing a second edition for my book – Jack and his Wind-Up Torch go to The Moon.  The second edition describes a number of games Jack plays with his friends using his wind-up torch.  This book will be added to the CSG book as a bonus book.


The second edition will be available in both full colour printed and eBook versions.

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled.