I have come to realize that life is about change, no matter how much we try to cling to what is familiar and comfortable. That leaves me with two choices: one, hang on to the status quo that is familiar and understood; or two, embrace the roller coaster of evolution and learn to cherish the lessons and the resulting growth. If I wish to leave this earth as the best person I can be, I cannot become like the ostrich and bury my head while life goes hurtling past me. Growth demands a price, and therein lies its value!
The same holds true for those of us who aspire to be writers. Although I have four published books to my name plus published works in two RRBC anthologies, I believe that I’ve only just begun this writing journey. So, please consider the thoughts I share on this topic today within this context – my reality of becoming.
I became a published author in 2002 with the book, Getting It Right In History Class, designed for classroom use in the teaching of academic writing skills. Since then, three more books were written and published in 2007, 2014 and 2015. Writing became a second career for me, following on the heels of a 35-year career in the classroom. And yet, it was not born of a lifelong goal to become a published author. However, I have embraced it as a precious calling, and I regard it with some urgency because I won’t have 35 years to get it right. Why is that important?
I possess a gift – the ability to write well. I didn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it. It is a precious reality, and I feel a great responsibility as a writer. As a high school teacher, I perceived a profound responsibility to prepare my teenaged students for the adulthood that awaited them. That meant I had to give them quality lessons, academic skills to carry them forward and to model behaviour and attitudes to emulate in their way.
I see my role as a writer in much the same manner. So, how do I use this gift? First, I strive for integrity in my written word. Yes, I wish to entertain my readers, but more importantly, I want my words to give them pause, to think about what they read and change their lives for the better in some small way. I write non-fiction and science fiction novels. I strive for realism in my characters and to have them deal with the same sorts of issues confronting us in real life. In the non-fiction writing, I aim to deliver thoughtful commentary on many different life issues. In all of my literary endeavors, I wish my work to be authentic and meaningful.
As well, I need to give back – and I choose to do that by supporting my fellow authors. It is the main reason why I was attracted to RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB two years ago. Founder, Nonnie Jules, envisioned a literary community whose primary mission is to profile, promote, and propel the careers of our author-members. Part of that mission is to reach out to help each other be the best authors we can be. On December 1-3, 2016, we are hosting an international, virtual WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO with sessions specially designed to help authors to develop professionally.
Finally, as a writer, I have a responsibility to contribute to the body of quality Indie publications, so that readers of all genres can be confident that purchasing a book by an unknown Indie author is a risk worth taking. RRBC has among its international membership many excellent writers who are dedicated professionals. I am very proud to play a small role within this great literary community and to evolve as a writer alongside many amazing men and women. I thank Nonnie Jules for founding this club, for working tirelessly to make it grow larger and represent better quality, and for giving me the opportunity to work alongside her.