Suraya Dewing's blog

The people who influence us

This blog is in honour of my mother-in-law who recently passed away.

It all comes down to respect

Being a girl is a risky business.

Nothing has brought this home to me more emphatically than the recent revelations of Rolf Harris’ assaults on young girls, which started in the 1960s.

Two things have shocked me about the Rolf Harris story. The first is that his assault on young girls was so blatant and public. The second is that it never stopped and that he is one of many people who have abused their position of power and celebrity.

Story Design

Characters step into your imagination, they take up residence and before you know it you are telling their stories. You pick the moment or moments in their lives you are going to tell and you create the setting, situation and outcome.  That is the magic of storytelling. You occupy someone else’s life and you tell their story and in a strange way some of that story becomes your own.

The master storyteller shares the journey in such a way that the reader feels as if there is no one else making the journey – just the reader and the writer.

Proving your idea has legs

When I went into the ecentre in 2011, I was challenged to validate my business idea. This meant researching and testing the market to see if it had legs. Validating what I believed was a fantastic idea that would work and be very successful was a truly challenging experience.

Intersecting Lives

This is a story about two women whose lives took different paths. When I was in my twenties I had a small catering business in Taranaki.  Through it, I made many friends. One was special. May was a little bit older than me and when she came into the coffee lounge (that’s what they were called back then), she was surrounded by friends laughing and sharing their thoughts about voluntary work they had just done at the museum nearby.

Imagination and Creativity - the same thing?

Every so often I hear people declare, ‘he’s really creative’ or ‘she’s got a great imagination.’ I’ve often wondered what exactly they mean by this. What is being creative or what is happening when we use our imagination? Interesting, isn’t it? We take these two words for granted, and we all know what they mean, but just what is happening when we use our imagination and are being creative is rarely discussed.

A writer's legacy

Whenever a group gathers, the value of their collective purpose is multiplied many times and the capacity to do good is increased manifold.
So it is important to join those groups that gather to educate, inform, and contribute. This was the case last weekend when over 50,000 people gathered in Auckland to listen to 150 global writers.

Learning to write well now a commercial necessity

I wonder if this is a universal issue? 

Recently Auckland University cited a lack of literacy skills as one of the leading causes of failure at University.

As a consequence, they are raising the minimum requirements for entering. In 2009 a survey found that 25% of students lacked ‘the necessary literacy skills to succeed at University.’ That figure led them to make University entry more difficult. However, entry requirements are not as stringent as they soon will be.

Governance: getting the timing right

Since setting up the Story Mint, I have known that we will, at some stage, be setting up a Board. The timing for this is important. If we leave it too long, we will become like a projectile that has lost its propeller.   Do it too early and confusion will reign as people see all that needs to be done and apply various conflicting solutions.

I always imagined we had to be at a point where the business could afford to pay each Director, so given the state of the business, the time is a distance away.

Will technology overpower guns?

  Last week we commemorated Anzac Day, the landing of the Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli. Of the 100,444 men who landed in the Cove, almost 17,000 were killed and during the war we suffered a 58% casualty rate. This was a huge price to pay by a country of just one million people. As I grow older I realise what an enormous sacrifice our soldiers made.

Since then they have done it again in World War Two and in numerous battles since.  I know it would be easy to say, ‘it’s not our war,’ but that would be like standing by while the neighbour’s house burned down.

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