Published: 22 July 2009
There was silence in the boardroom. Everyone present was busy scribbling in their note books. Susan Hillgren was taking the members of NU media through her experience of the concepts of writing as a former NBC reporter. “Write what you Know”, Susan pointed out. “You never get in trouble by writing what you know.”
Susan her husband, Mark, and Carl her 19 year old son, arrived in Zambia two days ago. With them were the Elmores, visiting Zambia too. Clad in a blue scarf, lovely smile and intelligent eyes, she poured out her experience to the team. Everyone was eager as well as willing to learn. The eyes in tandem with the ears devoured everything given to them. Half way through the discussion, there was a twist. “Write in present tense an early memory in your life before you were aged seven. Write it as if you’re at that age today” This was an exercise to invoke the writing abilities of everyone present. Five minutes later, everyone had put at least a paragraph of his or her childhood memory on paper. Chibozu, a student and part of NU Media at Northrise, was the first brave one to read out her short memory. All appreciated it. A calming ease fell on the group. The realization that with little effort each one of us had a story to tell was astounding.
Next, everyone in the boardroom presented a version of the childhood memory from an adult perspective. Stories with less than 15 words per sentence were read out. Insights of human experiences were told in each one’s own words. The lessons learnt were well received because towards the close of the refresher discussion, everyone was smiling. All the stories were presented in light of the techniques shared. “The parables of Jesus Christ are the basis of most of today’s creative writing,” emphasized Susan in closing. “I hope you put this to practice as a challenge to becoming a writer”.
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