monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

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Catching Up With An Old Friend Who Happens to be a Writer, Too

Last night, an old friend came for dinner. Her name is Leila Basen; she's a screenwriter and we've known each other since our kids were little. Leila has worked on many TV series and she was one of the writers on the hit movie, Bon Cop, Bad Cop. Her latest gig is head writer for the TV series Heartland. If you've never seen it, look for it on CBC on Sunday nights.

I have to admitthat mostly Leila and I didn't talk about writing! But, because I was thinking of you, dear blog reader, just when Leila was leaving, I asked whether she had anything wise to say about the writing process.

First she said, "Tell them to write about what they know" -- which was kind of a joke on her part since, though it's fine advice, it's not exactly original.

But then, Leila rapped on my door; she'd come up with something else. "When I have a writing problem I'm trying to solve," she said, "I put it in my head and then I try not to consciously think of it. But often, I solve the problem in my unconscious -- like in my dreams or when I'm waiting at the bank." 

Which ties in nicely to our recent discussion of how writing is mostly about solving problems. So, if you're stuck on whatever story you are working on, try Leila's approach. Put the problem in your head, then try to forget all about it... then have a nap or go to the bank. Put your unconscious mind to work!! (And be sure to let me know how it goes!!)

Meet Lynn Burgess from the Eleanor London Library!
New Friends in Cicero, Illinois
 

Comments

Guest - Samantha Rudolph on Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:10

Hi Ms. Polak!
I thought I should let you know about my success concerning the new brainstorming technique you had us try out last class, the one you're describing in your blog. It worked! So just had to tell you! I found that because it was at the back of my mind I became more aware of my surroundings and began to subconsciously tune in to the people I encountered that seemed to have a story interesting enough to interview. I'm excited to tell you my new idea in class! Thank you to Ms. Basen for helping me find a fabulous topic for my final essay! ;D
See you Thursday!

Hi Ms. Polak! I thought I should let you know about my success concerning the new brainstorming technique you had us try out last class, the one you're describing in your blog. It worked! So just had to tell you! I found that because it was at the back of my mind I became more aware of my surroundings and began to subconsciously tune in to the people I encountered that seemed to have a story interesting enough to interview. I'm excited to tell you my new idea in class! Thank you to Ms. Basen for helping me find a fabulous topic for my final essay! ;D See you Thursday!
Guest - Monique on Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:53

Hi Samantha, That's super that the technique worked for you! I look forward to hearing what you came up with! Will pass the news on to Leila, too -- she's away in Paris for a week. I'm just back from a day spent with my daughter -- thanks for wishing me a happy weekend with her. Hope you're enjoying your weekend, too!

Hi Samantha, That's super that the technique worked for you! I look forward to hearing what you came up with! Will pass the news on to Leila, too -- she's away in Paris for a week. I'm just back from a day spent with my daughter -- thanks for wishing me a happy weekend with her. Hope you're enjoying your weekend, too!
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