A motivational read Turia Pitt ‘Unmasked’ review
From the first chapter, I shed tears. They stayed throughout, but mixed with smiles, chuckles and ‘wow’ moments.
My husband commented, “Are you still crying?” I was up to chapter twelve and had a box of tissues next to me, my head in the book.
This is an inspirational read; not only because of what happened to Turia, but what she did about it. It’s not just about Turia. The people around her show wonderful human spirit and love, particularly her fiancé Michael. Inspiring love flow through the pages.
Have a sense of humour
Turia has a wicked sense of humour and undeniable courage. She probably would have been a motivator, even if the fire didn’t happen to her. Her voice is loud but her physical achievements are thunderous. How many people take on Ironman events, the Kokoda Track, support charities (she did this before the fire), empower other people and live a humble (if not selfie-filled, ha ha) life? See her Instagram account.
Turia is spurred on by those who say she can’t do something. Doctors told her she’d struggle to walk; now she runs, swims, rides and climbs (and not slowly either). It made me realise how insignificant my own struggles were. I have no excuse not to exercise. I cannot complain when I feel pain (arthritis perhaps) in my knees, elbows, shoulders and neck. I will soldier on because I’m very grateful to still be fit and healthy. If I don’t keep moving I may not stay that way. I will stick it out because Turia’s voice is in my ear.
It’s not just a physical lesson
I didn’t just learn a physical lesson. I think the main thing is about our mind and how we use it. Turia breaks things up until she achieves them, be it physical or mental. I’ve always fragmented my writing projects into, words, scenes, chapters, then they become full manuscripts.
With multiple projects on the go it was getting to a point, I thought completing them was pushing my limits. Then I read Turia’s book and I had a light-bulb moment. Keep doing what you originally did; break it up. Finish the first bit, then the second and so on. I’m back to a flow of 3,000 words a day. I’m back on track. Mentally I’m in the writing zone. It’s not the same as an athlete’s zone but it works for me.
We can all be better people.
Turia is proof. She chose not to be bitter and angry; instead to live a full and meaningful life. We would forgive her for the first (considering what she’s been through) but that wouldn’t have been Turia, the person.
As an individual, I choose to be the best I can be. That’s all we need to be. We compete with ourselves. We run our own race. Be proud of what you are doing. If you’re not proud of what you are doing change it. It’s also advisable to keep supporters by your side. The people who love you will cheer you on like no one else. Just like Michael is always the first to greet Turia at her finish lines.
I’d also like to say what an excellent job John Corbett, Turia’s ghost writer, has done to pull the story together. I loved the chapters from the viewpoint of each of Turia’s loved ones. To say I had my heart in my throat, is an understatement. He brought the personal emotions to the surface and made Turia’s tale captivating, engaging and un-put-downable. (Lots of applause going off in the background).
Best advice: Take just one step.
Ten tips from this writer’s life
I was speaking to a lady about The Zanzibar Moon and she thought it was the only thing I’d written. I explained that I’d been published, in collaborative books, magazines, newspapers, journals and websites. See my Clips. I have had a long freelance career as a writer and am always writing something.
She said, “I respect anyone who can write a whole book, but what compels you want to do it?”
To me the answer is easy. “My love of writing makes me write. It’s a compulsion I’ve had since primary school. I am happiest when working at my craft.”
“But how do you organise it and go about it? To someone who doesn’t write it seems like a daunting thing to take on.”
Here are my ten tips from my writing life for those who are considering embarking on a writing life.
Ten tips to become a writer
- Write something every day (even if it’s just a list of the articles, short stories or novels you want to write)
- Set aside writing time (mine is before work, at lunchtime, after work and weekends) Yes, I have a full-time job and did publish a book. You can too.
- Plan your time. If you need to complete a 20,000 word writing project in three months. That’s 6,666 words per month or 1,666 per week, or 238 words per day seven days a week.
- Tell family and friends when you are writing, so there will be no distractions. (I’m one of the lucky few who can work with distractions, but most writers like peace and quiet).
- Read writing references. I’m continually learning about being a better writer. You do not know it all. There is always something to learn, be it about structure, editing, plotting, character development, dialogue, research or publishing.
- Love your characters. If your enamoured by your characters you’ll keep wanting to visit them. I loved mine so much in The Zanzibar Moon that I’ve brought them back in a prequel and plan two sequels.
- Create a writer website. Make it real. Let everyone know you are a writer. Yes, you are. Don’t doubt it.
- Set aside a writing zone. Writers dream of the perfect study with a fancy desk, shelves full of books, the latest computer, inspirational paintings, writing awards and a reading nook. We can’t all have that. You may have to write at the dining table, coffee table, bedroom corner, local café, your library or somewhere else. Anywhere, as long as you know it’s your writing zone and you’re about to get to work at writing.
- Keep a notebook with you always. You never know where you’ll find your inspiration. I get mine late at night, walking along the beach, hanging the washing, running the dog and washing the dishes. I’m always thinking up stories, characters and ideas in my head. “What if?”
- Never lose your imagination. “Imagine if?”
Good luck and get writing. If you need any advice please comment below. I’m always happy to support other writers.