Friday, September 21, 2012

Getting writing fit

In the film business we talk about being "set fit". This is when your body gets used to waking early, then working long hours on a film set where you're expected to work at peak performance for every moment of the day. The body clock adjusts so you can operate at peak for a set number of hours every day.

[Too often in advertising, where we only have a day or two to squash everything in, and where the corporation paying the bills wants us to keep costs down by limiting the number of shooting days, this tends to mean 14-16 hour shoot days].

I'm not 'set fit' because I spend most of my days in an office planning and prepping shoots, or cleaning up afterwards. As a result, after each shoot I usually feel like I've been knocked sideways and need a week of sleep to recover.

I believe that in the same way, we need to be 'writing fit'. We need to build up our tolerance by doing this every day. One long day of nothing but writing after a 2-3 week drought is not going to build up our fitness levels in the same way as regular daily exercise will.

This was brought home to me yesterday when I had a day off work and spent three whole hours writing. Three whole hours is like gold to me, and I should have achieved about 3,000 words. After all, when I last did some regular writing (as opposed to editing as I've been doing lately) I was achieving 1,000 words an hour.

How many words did I manage yesterday? 1,200.

Because I'm out of practice.


Have any of you experienced this? Or do you binge write in available gaps and find it works for you? I'd love to hear how you do it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Woohoo!! and My gift to you!

My official bio says I work in advertising, which is only part true. I work in TV advertising specifically, and I sort of fell into it many (many!) years ago after several years working on feature films and TV dramas.

Despite my too frequent moans about the long hours, and how the job takes me away from my family and writing, I still have a passion for the film industry. And so when I stumble across a blog post like this one from Imelda Evans which marries my two interests, I'm in Seventh Heaven.

And here's another interesting post on what we can learn from the film industry.

My gift to you,in honour of the fabulous news below, is that you get to ask me any question you've ever wanted to ask about how movies are made or the advertising process, and I'll do my best to answer. Fire away!

* * *

Woohooo!! Sri Pammi, one of the lovely Minxes, has sold to Presents! 



Monday, September 10, 2012

Looking for help with an important research question

Does anyone know whether celebrities  (or the fabulously wealthy and beautiful) need to stand in line for visas like the rest of us mere mortals?

I know from personal experience that when a celebrity arrives at customs / immigration at an airport, an immigration official can be booked to attend them personally and in privacy so they don't have to queue, but what about all the other officialdom the rest of us have to suffer through?
I'm thinking particularly about visa applications, passport applications, drivers' licenses - the sort of things that governments usually want us to show up for in person rather than sending some flunky.

PS: I'm looking for a flunky. Anyone know how to go about getting one?
PPS: I'm on a limited budget, so no time wasters need apply.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Children who have heroes become heroes

I saw the title of this blog post on an ad for a charity at the side of the road this morning, and it seemed particularly apt considering the blog post I'd prepared for today.

Since I was away on a film shoot in early August, I didn’t get to see much of this year’s Olympics, but I have been lucky enough to see a great deal more of the Paralympics.

It has been both heartbreaking and inspiring to watch. On one hand, I have a constant lump in my throat, and on the other I’m overwhelmed by the humility, joy and determination the Paralympic athletes exhibit.

The most incredible thing for me is the thought that, far more than with the competitors in the regular Olympics, every single one of these Paralympians is a winner. Each and every one of them has a story to tell, and every one of them has overcome the greatest odds to achieve their medals. They are there not just because they have a desire to win, but because they believe their are no limitations on what they can achieve.

Two of my mentors, Bob Mayer and Rhonda Byrne, both talk about the importance of not limiting your beliefs. The Paralympian athletes are the proof of this, and to me they are the true heroes of Olympics 2012.

My greatest hope is that the example they set – that no obstacle is so great that it can’t be surmounted, and that greatness can be achieved no matter what life throws at you – becomes a way of life for the rest of us too.

Monday, September 3, 2012

How to succeed

The inimitable Bob Mayer has started a blog series on Special Ops (the elite military units of the US).
In his Warrior Writer course (which I highly recommend to anyone in need of a swift kick up the derriere to get writing) Bob teaches the principles he learned in Special Ops to help writers to achieve change in their lives in order to become 'the elite'.

In this blog post, he talks about what it means to be 'elite', and in the successful 5% of the population. This bit especially resonated with me:

"One of the most difficult aspects of living a successful life and being elite is that often you must go against the norm and the mass of other people’s opinions about the way you should live.  There is a strong power in society trying to pull you into the ninety-five percent of people who live in fear and with mediocrity."

For me, not getting sucked into the modern urban mind-set of "must have new car, must have trendy clothes, must have big house, must put work first" syndrome has been hard. But I've done it.
I'm now in the 5% that sets my own values. In no particular order - time for my family, time to write and be with other writers, and the chance to travel.

That was Stage One. Stage Two is turning breaking the mould into being a success. Into being part of that 5% elite that actually fulfills their dreams.

Who is going to be brave and take the risk to join me there? Are you breaking away from the other 95% in order to follow your dreams? If so, please leave a comment and let me know so we can hold metaphorical hands and be brave together.