Goldie's Blog

Procrastinating, Editing, Reading and Film

2 May, 2011 | By Goldie Alexander

Thought I add a few comments for those who keep putting off ‘getting started’. These suggestions come from my ‘Mentoring Your Memoir’ text and may be useful to anyone needing a prod.

• You don’t have to start at the beginning. Start where ever the writing comes easiest.

• Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Stimulate the body and the brain, get the blood moving, and this will help the creative process.

• Keep an ideas notebook or folder or maybe an electronic organiser to help you sort out your ideas.

• Collate old material (clippings, photos, letters etc) into carefully labelled folders.

• Read other people’s life-stories and memoirs, they will help you organise yours. As you read, you will find yourself enjoying some, disliking others and learning, learning, learning.

• Start writing about yourself. Pretend you are sending an email/letter to a new friend. Describe yourself.

• Write whatever comes into your head. You can always discard it later on. Free associate. Write anything. Just get the feel of what it is like to write.

• Keep an open mind as to other people’s perceptions of you. Don’t get offended if you don’t agree.

• Practice relaxing and meditating. Again walking and swimming helps.

• Don’t get distracted by the task by telling yourself that there are other more important things you should be doing.

• Always remember: you are the author of your own story.

Otherwise, I have had a busy week editing for what seems like the umpteenth time 2 new ms: ‘In Hades, A Love Story’ is my first attempt at a verse novel. I started this concept early last year. Each time I edit, I end up with less words. Now it is well under 14,000. I cannot believe how long these 14,000 words have taken to write. The amount of energy and time would add up to 80,000 words or more if written in prose.

My other edit was a for a sci fi for older kids called ‘Hatchlings’. This also presented difficulties as the kids in this novel move from using avatars to explore their world to being part of it. Much easier to do on film than narrate in simple words.

Reading has taken a slightly lesser position. What I am really enjoying is Steve Martin’s ‘Object of Beauty’, a satirical take on the contemporary art world. What a clever man he is: actor, comedian and author.

Also saw ‘Encendie’ a French Canadian film about the Middle East which left a very lasting, and sober, impression. I strongly reccomend this to anyone interested in film that deals with important issues.

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