Friday, 19 July 2013

Find your voice week 4 x

Welcome to week 4 of Kristin's class and my week for contributing something to the class myself.

This week's homework was about looking at your storytelling style. Now I had to produce a piece of work to send to Kristin last Friday so got the basic questions only but not the whole sheet. I ended up actually concentrating on one question only and this was the question:

1. Write down your top three favorite movies (or books). What about these movies makes you happy? What do these movies have in common? How are the stories told? First person? Narrator? Are you drawn to the details or are you drawn to the broader themes? Is it important that the story be told visually? Are the characters important?

I love films so choosing only 3 was hard but these are the three I picked:

  1. The Shawshank Redemption,
  2. The Usual Suspects and
  3. St Elmo's Fire.

All these films have very strong characters and are drama based. The Shawshank Redemption features many interesting characters but the 2 key protagonists are Andy and Red. Andy has to overcome some truly terrifying experiences and find a way to survive in a prison he should have never gone to, whilst Red is a long term prisoner who has become institutionalised. It is Red who narrates the story. Likewise The Usual Suspects has many strong characters but is ultimately an ensemble piece. It is narrated by Kevin Spacey's character and uses very complex plot devises to tell a story which is almost a crime fairytale. St Elmo's Fire is again an ensemble piece with strong characters and is told through the life changing events experienced by one group of friends who have grown up together in university and are now trying to live in the ''real adult'' world.

What I learned from this exercise was not alot about storytelling itself but more about me, but I suppose that is a story in itself, isn't it? What I learned was that all these characters showed strength and had hope and this is what I realised about myself. No matter what has happened to me in life, even when I am in the depths of my worst depressions, I still come out the other side with greater strength and more hope. Even though I am often so beaten down, I have sometimes felt suicidal, even then I have somehow managed to cling to life and drag myself back up. Not always alone but with the love and support of my friends and family, and my blog friends too.

This what I  wrote on this layout which was a labour of strength in itself because writing these statements was tough.............

  • You cannot be a nurse and not have strength,
  • I am a strong person despite my mental health problems, I fight hard to stay well,
  • Like Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, I try to use my life to do good things,
  • Sometimes having Bipolar can feel like being in a mental prison,
  • Much like Wendy in St Elmo's Fire I am vulnerable, have low self- esteem, poor body image but I still have hope,
  • No matter what, I try to use my sense of humour x

I really love this layout, it is probably the most personal one I have ever done. Perhaps looking back a week later, I could have written more but for this layout I feel it is enough. Next time I will try to be even more open.

I hope you have enjoyed my perspective on this class this week. You can learn more by going to the class pages here.


  1. So inspiring-I just love that layout!

    1. thank you so much I really love how it all turned out too,
      Jo x

  2. I love this. It's so pretty and very neat that you found out about yourself by what you love. So cool!

    1. P.S. I still need to write your letter! I will get that done this week. I'm so behind. :)

    2. It was oone of those gr8 big AHA moments and perfect for this layout,
      Jo x

  3. Love your comments, Jo, and I love your blog layout! I need a lesson!

  4. Thank you for sharing such a personal post. It's very inspiring! I keep trying to figure out my favorite movies, but I think I am most attracted to movies with clever dialogue.


Hello and thank you so much for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to read the comments I receive and to meet new friends. I try and reply to comments on friend's blogs as much as possible. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and look forward to seeing you here again soon. Love Jo xxx