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World of Writing, Interview

World of Writing, Interview

Today's guest is Beverley Golden -  Canadian writer, raconteur, peacenik and self-professed guinea pig, who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health care, storytelling and world peace. She courageously uncovers the humour in life’s crazy situations, offering hope, while promoting inner wisdom through the written word. “Trust your intuition even when no one else sees your point of view” is her signature mantra.

Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie, her first book, bursts with anecdotes from her years in the entertainment industry, coupled with her stories of survival from a life lived with health issues. Her passion is turning the “impossible” into the possible and her often thought-provoking observations can be found on the Huffington Post, among others.

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Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: As a child, I was a very curious and cerebral. I didn’t like getting dirty and was fascinated by words, asking a lot of questions from a very early age. My mother tells me given the opportunity; I would read to my kindergarten class or to anyone who would listen. I observed the world around me and had a voracious imagination.

At one point when I was quite young, I believe I wanted to be a teacher. Then the next memory is that I wanted to be rich and famous. That’s what happens when you’re an air sign with five other planets in air. Lofty ideals and dreams. J

Q: What makes a good story?

A: To me, a good story is one where the reader feels they are part of the conversation or story. Where they are drawn in and see themselves in what they are reading.

That’s the style of writing people tell me I have developed, that of a conversational storyteller. My goal is to stimulate ideas and inspire conversations, and to get others to start asking questions of themselves and then to take those conversations out into the world. 

Ultimately we all have the power to contribute to making positive changes in the world, just through this simple act of asking questions that lead to taking action. I honestly believe that we all have unique and fascinating stories to share.

Q: What makes you write in certain genres?

A: With all my writing so far, I have chosen to stay with non-fiction, although in my first book I’m told that having a fictional interviewer talking with the real me, is quite a first for a memoir. 

Non-fiction feels closest to home for me, as I can draw on my own personal experiences and then do some observation and research of what is current in our culture, to meld the two together, offering an invitation to the reader to start a conversation.  Most of my writing these days is shorter articles that are shared online on various sites. 

Q: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing?

A: Interesting question, as I also started writing a young adult book, a book that is theoretically a fiction book, yet the female protagonist and her mother have many of the traits that I see in myself.  Traits that I stand for in the world.

I’ve read that the best way to write is to “write what you know” and although this seems the most accessible and natural way to write, I’ve also tackled a project about golf and life. Although I know about life, I’ve never played golf and am finding that “writing what you don’t know”, can be equally exhilarating. This book has my co-collaborator as the protagonist, as it is his story. It reads like fiction, yet is based on what he knows and what I don’t know, if that makes sense.

Q: What are your favorite publicity activities?

A: Because I love having conversations, I would have to say so far, number one is having radio conversations.  There are such a wide variety of people hosting interesting platforms and it seems there is room to have conversations about topics that interest and resonate with us all.

I’ve done everything from a Christian radio show to talk about monogamy, to a business show where the discussion took a U-turn when the host and I realized we had both transformed similar health challenges in our lives. Love the synchronicity of how that happens!

Q: Who are your favorite authors/poets?

A: One of my favourite authors is Steven Pressfield. Mainly his non-fiction books. I can only encourage anyone who is creating or wanting to create something meaningful out in the world (which means everyone), to read Steven’s outstanding book, The War of Art.  Simply brilliant and once you read it, you will understand why. His follow-up books to The War of Art, are equally incredible reads. 

I’ve also enjoyed reading Seth Godin, especially Tribes, although all his writing strikes a chord and resonates for me. 

Q: What is your most embarrassing writer moment?
A: This would have to relate to an article I wrote about finding your authentic swing in golf and in life. I included a quote from Steven Pressfield’s golf classic The Legend of Baggar Vance and when I sent the piece to Steven to read, he quickly sent me a very lovely and supportive note, letting me know that this quote did not actually appear in the book, but was only in the movie, whose screenplay was written by another writer, not him.  Yikes!  Talk about embarrassing, however, he was very gentle and I learned a great lesson, which he offered to me about double and triple checking sources - a key to maintaining your integrity as a writer. 

Q: What is your writer's life philosophy?
A: This is a great one for me to end on.  When people ask about process, I am happy to say that my process has to do with trusting having no describable process. Inspiration and trusting the muse are very important to me as a writer. 
Sometimes I wonder when the inspiration will strike again, and when it does, it always surprises and enlivens me. When the words, and sometimes seemingly unconnected ideas flow, I acknowledge that I’m writing from a place of pure creativity, and have gotten out of my own way to let something magical happen.
I’ve learned to go with what works for me as an individual, something I would encourage all writers and creative people to do. Find what works for you and trust it! 

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