Monday, 13 July 2015

A Kick Up the Butt.

We all have dreams. some bigger than others. We also know that sometimes it can be hard to hold on to that dream, especially when it looks like it is an impossible one. I've recently been going through a time of doubting my ability as a writer and this has stopped me from actually sitting down to work on the book I dream of writing. If anyone needs a "kick up the butt," it's me.

I recently downloaded a link to a strategy guide published by the Huffington Post. It's a guide aimed at teaching you how to get your writing published on theirs and other websites. I found it very interesting, but didn't feel that my writing fit the criteria that they are looking for. For one thing, they state that your writing must not be personal and mine definitely is. I also feel that I'm "not quite ready yet." But I decided to bookmark the article for the future.

You can imagine then, how surprised and amused I was, when the next day I received an email from someone called Jon Morrow, giving me a "friendly kick up the butt." He went on at length challenging how many such articles I'd read over the years on the same subject and asked how many excuses I'd come up with not to do anything about it. This did hit a nerve with me. He then went on to say that the next day he would tell me a story to help inspire me and perhaps give me another friendly "kick up the butt" or two.

Sure enough, the next day I received another email from him, although I'm pretty sure it's an automated email sent to anyone who downloads the article and doesn't follow through. But Jon Morrow, is a pretty inspirational guy. He has Muscular Dystrophy and is in a wheelchair. He's a prolific and successful writer and editor. Because of his condition he uses software that allows him to dictate his work onto his computer. He has an incredible enthusiasm for writing which I must say, I found to be pretty infectious.

Unfortunately, it wasn't really enough to make me want to log on and start writing, sorry Jon.

I recently finished my latest online course and now have time on my hands. This morning I decided to put away the books I've been using for the Greek and Roman Mythology course I've just completed. While tidying up my desk, I came across the Christmas present my eldest son gave me last year. He'd arranged for some of my blogs to be made into a book titled, "Sunshine After the Rain", which anyone who follows my blogs will know, is my logo. It was such a thoughtful present and I was both emotional and speechless when I opened the present and saw what it contained.

As I looked through the book, I read the foreword that he'd included in the front of it. Once more I was reduced to tears. But I think that I might have found my "kick up the butt." As I read the words, it reminded me of why I'd started writing in the first place and, knowing how he feels about what I've embarked on, has given me a renewed determination to keep trying.

 I'm not going to say anymore here. Instead I'm going to share the foreword with you. Perhaps then you'll see for yourself why these words might have had more of an effect on me than the words of a stranger.


When I first heard my Mum was planning to write a blog I must admit my reaction was one of patronising bemusement – Mum using the inter-web?! Nevertheless, not wanting to discourage her I gave supporting noises along the lines of “oh that’s interesting” and “well good luck with that”, not thinking much more of it. 
More fool me! It soon became clear after further conversations how serious she was and how this was an important part of her ambitions to become a fully- fledged writer. And as each phone call became punctuated with ever-increasing website views, followers “likes” and shares, it was obvious I was wrong about to ever underestimate her drive and determination to make this succeed. It has also been a privilege to watch her confidence and technical abilities as a writer to grow with each new entry, with each one full of honesty, wit, enthusiasm and love, - in other words, all Mum. 
Not that I should have been surprised at all. If all the words that could be used to describe Mum, (apart from mad, bonkers and variants thereof), the most appropriate is ‘resilient’. She has been through so much and come out the other side stronger and more determined than I have ever known her. It is this trait that has, not only helped her, but also myself, my brother and my Dad, keep going, even through the darkest times. 
This book is not just meant to be a present but, both a reminder of what mum has already achieved and as a symbol of what is to come. I also hope it help inspires her to continue on and achieve her goals. 
Callum Johnstone  
December 2014.
See what I mean? Wouldn't you be inspired if someone had this much faith in you? 

For any writers out there who might be interested in reading the Huffington Post article, here is the link to the article:-

Isabel Johnstone 2015 ©

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