Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Eva Peters Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard): #223 Bridget Holding
Bridget Holding was born in Cardiff, in Wales, in November 1972, the older child of Simon and Anne. When she was six months old, her dad got a job working for the Australian government and they went to live there. Her earliest memories were of running around barefoot and spying cockatoos in the trees. When she was four and her brother Duncan was two, they moved to London. She loved primary school, where she was Head Girl and felt she could do what she liked. When she was ten, her parents split up but remained living in the same town, so she’s always had both of them. She was fairly indifferent to the all-girls secondary school she went to. At seventeen, she joined a model agency, but turned away from that world to go travelling in Asia instead. She went to University in another big city, did English Literature, but spent more time making films in London. She got into writing screenplays after working on feature films. The one that everyone’s heard of is The Full Monty. She once kissed Keanu Reeves at the Cannes Film Festival—well, ok, only on the cheek, but still! She’s written and directed a short film that was one of the winners of the Sky Moviemax Short Film of the Year Award. Feeling unfulfilled by the fashion and film industries, in her twenties she practised Zen Buddhism in a monastery as a member of the Tiep Hien order. Bridget was a professional screenwriter for six years, living with her partner in London. The relationship ended and she moved to Devon, where she has developed a passion for being outdoors, and has spent months at a time living in tents. She feels that nature nurtures her and inspires her writing. She loves supporting other writers, and trained for four years to be an art-based psychotherapist in order to better understand how to do this. Now she juggles writing, teaching writing for two Universities, and being a psychotherapist. Recently she’s found she’s in demand, to work with writers on deepening characters in fiction writing, to specialise in depth autobiography in non-fiction, and to lecture on the psychological underpinnings of creative process. She also runs workshops that use painting, clay, movement, and music to inspire and inform writing fiction and poetry. She loves her work because it brings her into contact with a wide range of people including well-known professional filmmakers, writers and musicians, children in war zones, patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia, and families following bereavement. Her novel is coming along nicely too, but the scale of it scares her. She has started working with Michael Kimball writing autobiographical postcards for people because it’s a wonderful synthesis of psychotherapy, writing, and her childhood love of collecting postcards. And there’s something so contained and pleasing about the form!