A poet who had never written a poem before last year has now signed an international book deal.
Australia’s most popular Instagram poet, Gemma Troy, 36, signed to a US publisher in a breakthrough professional moment.
Although the mother-of-one from Queensland only began posting her poems to Instagram in 2017, she has already amassed close to 175,000 followers.
‘I haven’t been writing poetry for that long, its only been 18 months,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘It all started when one night I was wanting to write how I was feeling and suddenly a torrent came out – a lightning bolt hit me and from that, a poem was born.’
Australia’s most popular Instapoet, Gemma Troy, 36, has signed to a US publisher
Gemma is set to follow Canadian Rupi Kaur’s success, whose bestselling title Milk and Honey has sold more than 65,000 copies in Australia alone.
This is the first chance the 36-year-old has had to allow her book, Heart Lines, to capture the hearts of international readers.
‘I’ve always written down how I’m feeling, whether they’re strong or happy feelings,’ she said.
‘I was feeling pretty rotten that night but I hadn’t really had an interest in poetry before except for when my mum would recite poetry to me when I was younger.’
Gemma is set to follow Canadian Rupi Kaur’s success, whose bestselling title Milk and Honey has sold more than 65,000 copies in Australia alone
Before her book of poetry came to fruition, Gemma was only sharing her poems online.
‘I had 20 to 25 poems when I wanted to start my Instagram account,’ Gemma explained.
‘I did it because I wanted to get feedback, I didn’t know whether they were good or not, I never started it with the intention to create books.’
She is a private person and doesn’t share many details of herself on her account apart from the inner workings of her brain.
The 36-year-old has been signed to Rupi’s publisher in a significant international deal that will see her book, Heart Lines, capture the hearts of readers
Before her book of poetry came to fruition, Gemma was only sharing her poems to Instagram
Gemma writes the emotions that she’s feeling at the time or how she has been feeling throughout the day.
‘I’ll be inspired during the day and sit down at least once a day to write. I have to be completely alone and I try to stop thinking, it’s like a meditation,’ she said.
‘I tell the truth in my writing, it’s honest and it’s raw. I’ve discovered things about myself I didn’t realise were there.’
There are consistent themes of love and loss in her poems as she draws on previous relationships and experiences.
Gemma writes the emotions that she’s feeling at the time or how she has been feeling throughout the day
‘I’m definitely thinking about someone in particular when I write, I’m a sensitive and soft person and growing up I was quite shy,’ Gemma told FEMAIL.
‘I feel very deeply and hold onto things so there is a big well to draw from.’
Gemma explained that it’s difficult to pinpoint where exactly her inspiration comes from, as she can be struck by a multitude of experiences.
‘I can be at the beach or buying something at the shop. I could be laying in the sand and there could be a particular feeling that could inspire me,’ she said.
‘When I write it’s the feeling I’m experiencing in the moment. I want people to know that it’s okay to feel.
‘It’s okay to break down and cry and get up the next day and try again. No one gets a free ride in life.’
Gemma explained that it’s difficult to pinpoint where exactly her inspiration comes from, as she can be struck by a multitude of experiences
‘When I write it’s the feeling I’m experiencing in the moment. I want people to know that it’s okay to feel,’ Gemma said
Gemma also explained to FEMAIL that she is using poetry to get to know herself better and feel more comfortable with who she is.
‘I’m using poetry to learn to love myself. When I write I don’t think about anything and I especially don’t think about my writing,’ she said.
‘I don’t go into it with any intention, I write up whatever I’m feeling.’
Gemma reflects on themes of pain, femininity and joy, and matches each delicate poem on the page with one of her found treasures from nature.