Recording the lives of crocodile hunters and politicians is all in a day’s work for a Playford-based writer. But how did Paul Rosenzweig find himself in the biographical writing trade? The Stretton Centre’s Sarah Menz found out…
Paul Rosenzweig is is a co-worker at the City of Playford’s Stretton Centre, which provides co-working facilities that allow businesses to expand and grow at their own pace.
This year, Paul's business, Your Biography Writer, has a number of projects on the go, including short biographies of State and Federal politicians, and books about South Australian RSL clubs and their members.
Sarah: Tell us a little bit about your business.
Paul: I offer the chance for people to tell their story. I meet with people from a range of businesses and backgrounds who have a story to tell or want to increase awareness of their business or organisation. Sometimes, they just want to learn about their history.
S: How did biography writing become a business venture for you?
P: Ten years ago I wrote my first book called ‘Our Rainbow'.
It raised awareness of people with disabilities and charities, and learning about different people’s lives through the aspect of having a disability. Overall, learning about their struggles and what they’ve had to overcome in their life inspired me to learn more about people in general; I believe everyone has a story to tell. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from or what you’ve done.
I get asked ‘who have you written about who’s famous?’ a lot, but I like to focus more on everyday people. People think they don’t have an interesting story to tell but you delve into things like their ancestry and it becomes so much more interesting. “I’m fascinated by all sorts of people’s lives, I believe everyone has an interesting story to tell.”
S: What process do you follow when biography writing?
P: I have a biography writing template that I’ve created myself. I fill it in or the customer does, then I expand into more detail. I use my phone to record everything and take shorthand notes; then I go to my desk and use a program that transcribes the interview onto a computer. Writing is time consuming so I needed to find something that helped me go faster and save time.
S: What is the most memorable biography you’ve written?
P: A crocodile hunter in the Northern Territory, now that was interesting! She got her fingers bitten off by a croc. She’s in her 60s and is a truck driver now and she and her husband drive from Adelaide to Perth twice a week.
^^ Keep in touch with Paul's work via his Facebook page. S: Writing takes a lot of patience and time; what are your tips for aspiring writers?
P: Just to read as much as possible - read, read, read! Doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s a children’s book, newspaper, magazine, comic book, whatever! It will help you to write better. If you’re like me and have a passion for writing but don’t like reading, find material similar to what you like to write about and read that.
S: What are you enjoying most about co-working at Stretton?
P: I love the people, the open spaces, the work environment, the ability to work where you want and when you want, and the 24/7 access. The best and biggest change to come from Stretton is that I can now separate my work life from my family life at an affordable price.
You can get in touch with Paul via his Facebook page and for more information about the Stretton Centre, visit here or here.