I haven’t really thought about this question until now. On completing a five week course in Creative Writing today I am almost ready to hang up my pen! I didn’t research the course in great depth as I just thought it would be great to do during this time of home isolation. In fact the course was geared very much toward writing fiction novels and the development of character, scenes, point of view, momentum etc.
I found that the only way I could develop a character was to base it on the character I know best – ME! That got me thinking and I quickly realised I am not in the least bit interested in writing fiction. I have often thought of the possibility of writing a memoir but I am not even sure about that now.
I have had this idea of “writing” in the background (the name of my blog for example!!!) for many years but maybe it is time to take a different path. After all, why do people write memoirs? Is it to reassure themselves their lives had some meaning and purpose? Or is it to reconcile life’s experience and to find peace at its conclusion?
Maybe it is the COVID 19 affect that is perhaps making me stop and think about where I am headed and to look at possible alternatives for the future. that can’t be a bad thing.
As part of my job I visit a different three homes each week and do a write up for the local paper. Sometimes the agency provides me with the keys to a house, especially if it is vacant. Well today I was given a set of about eight to ten keys for a house I was to visit.
The luxury home was fairly isolated in a rural setting and the house numbering was a bit confusing. I eventually found the beautiful ($1m plus) house, parked in the driveway and attempted to open the front door. I tried every key several times but none fitted. I located another external door and still had no luck.
It was in an elevated position and I couldn’t resist taking some photos with my mobile phone in between trying to open the doors. In the end I rang the sales rep and after some clarification I discovered I was a the wrong house! Oops!
Sometimes these homes have security cameras and I wonder what they made of me trying to get into the house and taking photos as well.
I found the house I was meant to visit but actually I preferred the first one. Shame it wasn’t for sale!
I came across this passage recently while researching about writing memoirs. It really struck a chord with me.
According to Elizabeth Sullivan, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Francisco:
Writing creates a mind-body-spirit connection. She also said that when you use your hands to pen or type something directly from your brain, you are creating a powerful connection between your inner experience and your body’s movement out in the world.
Source and for more information about Elizabeth Sullivan CLICK HERE
I would like to write my memoir one day. I am currently collecting information and advice as to how to go about it. I have scoured my blog for passages that can be included. I have also read several memoirs to learn how writers tackle it.
My intent is to gather snippets of information/memories until I feel I have a good mix and quantity of quality information.
The purpose of this post is to glean advice and guidance from fellow bloggers. I am sure many people have travelled this road before me and will have some good advice of what to do or not do.
How would YOU go about it? Please share your thoughts/tips with me 🙂
“Whether it’s reading or writing, literacy is an outlet to an untouchable world – your imagination. Not only is literacy a basic human right, it is a fundamental building block for learning as well as a personal empowerment tool. It is the catalyst for social and global progress.” (fromhttp://internationalliteracyday.org/ )
International Literacy Day was held on 8 September 2015. It is a good time to remember that some people have difficulty with the following:
reading a medicine label
filling out a job application form
reading a bank statement
understanding government policies and processes
assisting their children with their homework
and so much more.
When I trained as a literacy tutor I found out that nearly 50% of Australians struggle to read well enough to meet the complex demands of everyday life. This can impact on their independence, physical and mental health and their job prospects. No small matter!
People with low literacy levels can become adept at hiding their problems by making excuses about forgetting to bring their glasses or asking other people to help them. They may scribble words they cannot spell to disguise it. I confess I do this sometimes as well!
When I lived in the Kimberley region of Western Australia I worked with adult Aboriginal women who were keen to learn English. They could converse in their own language but English wasn’t their first language.
It was a watershed moment for me at Election time. I realized how vulnerable they were to being duped into voting for someone who did not represent their best interests. This was when I realised the relationship between literacy, power and equality.
This prompted me to advocate on the need for access to literacy skills to empower people to make their own decisions for their own best interests.
I love learning new things. My most recent ‘new thing’ is learning how to write feature articles. It is online learning through the Australian Writers Centre. It is a great course and I am getting a lot out of it.
One exercise was to interview a fellow student and write a profile about them. I paired up with Miranda from Queensland and we agreed to a Skype interview. We stuck to the ten minutes recommended and it was really interesting.
Miranda emailed me after the Skype session and asked if she could interview me again about what ‘legacy’ meant to me. I had a few days to think about it. I became aware of how little thought I had given to what my legacy is, or would be, after I am gone.
If you would like to read what Miranda wrote, here is the link to her site and the article Red Hat Chronicles.
I hope you enjoy it and maybe think a little about what your legacy might be :-).
There are so many different forms of writing! How can one learn to be a great writer? When I think about it, these examples come to mind:
novel writing – different genres
short stories – different genres
writer of children’s stories
blogging – different themes and purposes
technical, business and scientific writing
personal journal writing
copy-writing for websites or advertising/public relations
policy writing for governments and other organisations
No doubt I have missed some types and styles of writing. I wonder how transferable the skills are between them. And what about the status or culture around the careers of such writers? Bloggers vs journalists for example? Are the boundaries shifting?
I have experimented with creative writing and loved it but find it really hard to access the creative part of my imagination/inner self.
I can write business reports and tenders and the like – I get some satisfaction out of doing a good job but they don’t excite me very much.
This week I enrolled in a five-week course to learn about feature writing for magazines and newspapers. I am enjoying it so far. The massive changes in writing practices will continue to evolve. Where will we be in ten years from now? Will we still have hard copy newspapers, I wonder?
I don’t seem to write much these days. Not only that, but I don’t get ideas like I used to. I want to hang in and write some more. I fear if I leave it too long, writing could become one of the things I used to do.
I’ve become a little shy in publishing so I am making the effort today. My tagline used to say, “If you want to write, just write!”.
OK – here are three good reasons to write regularly:
It keeps the words flowing and once you get started the ideas will come.
We need to build the habit of writing into our daily lives – some days it won’t be very productive but then there are days when it all comes together.
It must be good for our brains to think and be creative or remember and relate stories etc.
I recently re-read Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H.Lawrence. I was surprised that I still found it to be a bit raunchy even in the 21st Century. I moved on to another of Lawrence’s books – this time it was Women In Love.
For your information, David Herbert Richards Lawrence was born on 11 September 1885 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England.
I was fascinated with the beauty of his writing as it is so different to most of the novels I read.
Here is a sample:
She was a strange figure in the class-room, wearing a large old cloak of greenish cloth, on which was a raised pattern of dull gold. The high collar, and the inside of the cloak, was lined with dark fur. Beneath she had a dress of fine lavender-coloured cloth, trimmed with fur, and her hat was close fitting, made of fur and of the dull, green-and-gold figured stuff. She was tall and strange, she looked as if she had come out of some new, bizarre picture.
(Women In Love by D.H. Lawrence, pp.40-41 Penguin Books)
Alas, I confess I didn’t last the distance. I love the language and the style but it was too intense for me. Maybe I will have another go on another day :-).
I go to a creative writing group every other Monday afternoon. We were to develop two characters and then arrange for them to meet. I was given a door-to-door sales rep and a story-teller and they were to meet at the races. I really enjoyed developing the characters while considering the following:
sex, detailed appearance and age
likes and dislikes
strengths and weaknesses
desires, secrets and fears
where they were born, had lived and so on
Just to be different I decided to present my story in a poem and here it is:
WILLIAM AND THEA
A lad is born and they call him William
His family think he is quite odd
But all agree he is one in a million
They celebrate his birth with smoked cod.
A girl is born far, far away yet very, very near
She is a real cutie
They proclaim her name will be Thea
All agree she is a beauty.
William grows to be six foot tall
His eyes are bright blue and clear
He settles in a little town called Stawell
And sells from door to door with no fear.
Thea, fully grown, is only five foot four
Her eyes are a deep dark brown
When it comes to money, she wants more and more
She spends all her savings and ends up quite poor.
William loves to frequent the races
Thea is there to write a story
They meet when Thea trips on her shoe laces
In actual fact, it really is her moment of glory.
They landed on top of each other
Both were too shocked to speak
Who knew they were bound to be lovers
When they were both born to be so meek!