Friday, 26 March 2021

 ANOTHER WRITING ADVENTURE!

Who inspires you to write, to read, to chase your dreams, to learn new things, to motivate you?

For me, it's often...or always stories I hear, or have read by others that have taken that first step and found their courage to do something that in turn then inspires others to do the same.  It's not always the same person, but multiple people who have gone on to do amazing things, accomplished or conquered life time goals by just taking action and saying to themselves I can do this and I will do this.

The first person who comes to my mind when I think of inspiration is Cheryl Strayed, Author of 'Wild.'  Ever since having read her memoir, whenever I see something published or read one of her recent Facebook posts, it reminds me of where I want to be and what I want to achieve, and how much she has changed my outlook on life and how impact just one story can make to change your out look on life...the key is to never loose focus.

2021 has reminded me not waste any more time procrastinating on what I want to do and what I want to achieve, and where my goals always fall back to what I love to do and that is WRITING!

By luck, or by chance, I fell across a post on Instagram advertising courses, writing courses...of course! As such, I literally bit the bullet and decided to immediately enrol in this course - the Copywriting Essentials Course - through the Australian Writers Centre, and I'm loving learning this new skill that will take me in so many writing directions if I allow it to...and I will.

To be motivated, to make change you must move forward, and learning new skills I have learnt gives you that push to make the necessary changes, to believe in yourself that you can do it, everyone who's been there tells you the same, we just have to take that first or second or third or latest giant leap of faith for ourselves.

So, my personal endeavour is to become a freelance writer, make a living from my writing, something I love doing to earn an income, to be my own boss, choosing my own pathway and becoming successful at the same time.

Sounds like a plan! Wish me Luck!

Monday, 20 January 2020

Anne Frank

Recently whilst perusing the shelves in The Bookshop at Queenscliff I came across an all time classic favorite story - Anne Frank.

For me, this story will forever resonate as it was a childhood favorite, staying firm in the memory.

I couldn't leave the bookshop without buying my own copy of this children's rendition of her story.  The cover is so cute!

About ghostwriting

Sounds awesome, doesn't it...write someone else's story, get paid (and paid well at that), jobs done, and move onto to the next piece of work, but is that always really the case, even though it's the theory?
I never considered myself being a ghostwriter and still don't for that matter, but after some extensive research into the type of work I'm performing, I can't help but think, yes, I must be ghostwriting, the only true difference is I'm not being paid for my hard work; that's right, you heard correctly, I'm not being paid, and perhaps that's my fault more than whom I'm writing for, and here's why.
"You have to meet my mate, you won't believe the story he's about to tell you."
" You could write a book about it for him."
Well, of course like every writer on this planet, what do we like more than a story? 'A great story' a story like non-other you've ever heard, or likely to hear ever again, a story you can see selling millions of copies just like J.K Rowling.
Before I  go on, I have to be honest here, the money, the accolades and the sales of millions of copies - although would be wonderful - never came into the equation when I gave serious thought into actually pursuing this project. 
So, firstly, I listened intently to this story being shared with great passion by it's subject.  It's not fictitious, although you could be excused for thinking it was, but you wouldn't dare tell it's subject that, for he has already contended with years of disbelievers and that's where I came into all this, I was willing to listen, to read, to investigate, research and write what I was being told for what it was, it's not my story, I am merely just the conduit in breathing life into this story that would otherwise remain untold, and as a writer I looked at this opportunity being my job.

So now I'm intently reading pages upon pages of true encounter's all dated and documented.  I pool over them, they're confusing because I don't know and have never met these characters (people), and there are a lot of them.
It dawns on me I have indeed placed a tremendous amount of responsibility on my shoulders undertaking this project.  No money has been discussed, in fact it never really entered my head when I offered to take a look at the project more deeply. I did say, I can't promise anything, but I will try my best, and try my best I am. 
My initial thought was not to complete an entire manuscript, but instead, enough prose as a submission to a publishing house, after all I'm a writer and I'm using my writing prowess to help this story be told, to be seen and read by the widest audience possible.
I've made pages upon pages of note taking, I've done hours upon hours of research, library visits, interviewing my subject, recording, writing chapters, writing and more writing. 
But here's the thing, the most difficult of things being a ghostwriter when writing factual details compared to fiction; is not knowing all the underlying facts, not having enough to go on because the details and facts are just not there, I didn't grow up with my subject, I barely know him really. In my interviews I've pulled and prodded for sensitive information, for more detail, but it just doesn't seem to be enough, so do I use creative non-fiction methods to fill the gaps, am I giving due justice and respect to my subjects work by doing such a thing?
I have a great story sitting before me, that I do recognise, but without enough detail to add the depth required to carry this off I'm worried this will rob my subject of his story, which I believe should be told and if and when it's told will capture an audience like no other, so where from here?
Yes, I'm doing this job out of love, I don't want to fail as a writer, I don't want to lose any credibility and most of all I don't want to let my subject down; ghostwriting's a tough gig.




Monday, 2 December 2019

Feeling of the Day through Quotes

I love quotes, who doesn't. 

They allow us to resonate with our feelings the instant we read them.  We uncannily think it was written for us, it must've been, why else would it suddenly appear at the very time and stage it has just when we're feeling it, living it. 

It's also easy to get caught up in quotes we read.  It will either make you feel better about yourself or a situation or it will catastrophise it. 

I guess we can relate knowing that someone, somewhere has also felt the same intensity; after all they must've to have written it in the first place.

So here's a quote I stumbled across on Instagram, the writer is un-named but nevertheless, this sums up my feelings today.

"How they make you feel
says a lot about them
and nothing about you."

"Trust me when I say
someone who makes you question 
if you are worthy of being loved
is not worthy of being loved by you"

Thursday, 28 November 2019

It's been a long time


Wow!! It has been a long time...

I can't believe it has been well over twelve months since I last blogged, it goes to show how easily things can slip and how quickly time passes by.
Life has been hectic though!!
One month after I last blogged I started a new position at work, it's been daunting to say the least.  Then my youngest started High School, well that's a whole new story of it's own, we also had a new member of the furry kind join our household and now the race is on as to who reigns supreme between the teenager and the cat, I'd say at this stage it's even, although the teenager thinks the cat is more loved and is the favorite child...I'll leave that out for the jury to decide, but I think I'm in trouble.
Mostly though my time has been absorbed studying and today I can boldly say I have successfully completed my studies and I say that with the loudest sigh, could you hear it? I'm now a fully qualified Dispensary Technician within Pharmacy and I have to say I'm quite proud to share this as it has been a long road.
I feel like I've been held hostage over the last seven months of study, consuming an enormous amount of time with my head in the books and now it's back to my writing, and oh how I've missed my writing. I truly have missed just being able to sit and type away like I am now without that thought I should be doing something else.
I've felt so guilty too, as almost twelve months ago I promised a friend I would help write his story.  I've found it's not an easy task writing someone else's story.  The research part is enlightening, learning things I would otherwise be oblivious to.  Some ordinary people do have extraordinary stories to tell.  So now as promised I will continue on the path of compiling his story, however I'm feeling I could've bitten off more than I can chew in offering to do so.  Without living something yourself, without knowing this person for an extensive period of time all plays into how difficult it is to put words on paper and sound authentic rather than sharing just a dairy log.
I'll keep everyone posted with my ideas and questions of which I would be highly grateful for suggestions from anyone who has ever endeavored to write someone else's story.
Until then, happy days!!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Over Sixty-Shades of Gray: A Journey Through Life's Later Years

Here is one of the latest titles I've recently had the pleasure to review, I enjoyed this read and highly recommend it to anyone 50+

Over-Sixty: Shades of Gray: A Journey Through Life's Later YearsOver-Sixty: Shades of Gray: A Journey Through Life's Later Years by Barbara Paskoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here is a contemporary, uplifting look into the years of living sixty and beyond. Delivered with much-needed humor to lighten the load, the reader is successfully transported through the realities of getting older and how to best approach, and cope with, these changes when they arise.
This comprehensive overview will open your mind to matters you may not have already encountered or thought of and where health is placed at the forefront, providing a snapshot into some of life’s more serious challenges we might unluckily be faced with at some time or another. But don’t feel completely disheartened, for it’s not all doom and gloom as you might expect. Yes, health plays a major role in ageing, we all know that, but what about the positive up-side to getting older? And, yes, there seems there is an up-side. Retirement frees oneself up. So what about all that spare time on your hands; what will you do with that now? And how about the finances? Are they all in check? These are the type of questions that will get you thinking and where basic know-how is offered to provide some invaluable forethought. And then there’s the fun part of pre-planning one’s funeral that you might not have already thought about, where author Barbara Paskoff has it all worked out: “I’m making a guest list. If your name isn’t on it, it means I wouldn’t be caught dead with you.”
While each topic lends itself almost as a personal essay through the author’s own experiences, the messages conveyed remain effective, providing enough of an overview for the reader to make their own informed decisions and draw on their own conclusions, supported with both summaries and professional resources neatly tying up each chapter end.
I read through this book with the greatest of interest, particularly because I’m not yet sixty and, with saying that, I believe this book is not just precise for readers of that age group, nor is it gender specific; however, I did find that the book tends to lean a little more towards female interest than male. In fact, readers in their fifties (like myself) would find this book with true appreciation, providing a much-needed and important early insight, where time is the essence and pre-knowledge could hold the key before things sneak-up announced, which might, in fact, give a greater opportunity to overcome or avoid some obstacles otherwise left too late.
This a straight-forward, positive, go-to-guide that offers pre-planning and foresight on entering and living through our later years of life that will become a great resource for reference.


View all my reviews

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Bryce Courtenay on Writing and other stuff


Recently I picked up a copy of Bryce Courtenay's
The Silver Moon - Reflections on Life, Death and Writing.
I have to be honest, out of eight titles I own of Bryce Courtenay's, I have only managed to read two of them from start to finish.  April Fools Day, published in 1993 was one of those titles, the other was The Power Of One, published in 1989. 

The Silver Moon is a portrait of Bryce's work where he as the title suggests reflects upon his life before, during and after becoming a popular fiction writer.  You get to see Bryce not only as a writer / storyteller but as a husband, father and friend.  

I loved reading through and absorbing the abundance of advice he provides for anyone who wants to be a good writer, to improve their writing and grasp the basic necessity's in understanding what is most important in being successful in storytelling.  

I wish I had been fortunate enough to attend one of Bryce Courtenay's masterclasses. I think the personal gratification in meeting him and learning from his valuable lessons would've been second to none.  His courses stretched out over five days within several countries including Australia - with the National Library of Canberra home to these classes.  I think it would've been nice to look back, especially now Bryce Courtenay has passed away and say, I was fortunate enough to meet and learn from this guy.  

Here's a quote that stood out for me.  It's not just a play on words, a thought or process, but it resonates and has meaning, it's the truth and everyone can place themselves somewhere within this tier of life.
"You live three lives.  
One growing up; one being responsible, paying the mortgage and having kids, and one being yourself.  I'm in my third stage." he tells.

One of Bryce's teachings of writing, not just popular fiction, but any writing, is considering your reader as paramount ( treat them as a fourth protagonist) after all your telling them the story and their listening attentively, so keep their attention alive.

"Writing is about practice and practice takes time."

"Writing requires thinking at a deeper level than most things, and most writers find that they grow intellectually in the process of writing."

If you're a writer, like myself, then perhaps like me you understand the last passage.  I often have people say to me I'm a deep thinker, but I've never associated that thought with me as a writer; now I do.  And yes, as writers we must become more intellectual because we learn so much through writing.

The Silver Moon, should be every writers ambition to read at least once; for me, I believe it should be an essential addition among my books on writing, taking pride of place among the rest of them. I'm so glad I picked this book up at the library and got to read it, learn from it and gain a respect for Bryce Courtenay I wouldn't have otherwise known.   
Finally,
"I'm a storyteller.
Some people are plumbers, some people are doctors, some are lawyers.
I'm a storyteller."




  ANOTHER WRITING ADVENTURE! Who inspires you to write, to read, to chase your dreams, to learn new things, to motivate you? For me, it'...