I'm feeling very inspired today. My classroom visit last week plays a big role in today's inspiration. But before I talk about my "classroom conversation" at an elementary school, I want to encourage my fellow writers, specifically you aspiring authors. The best advice I can give to you is to think of the end goal. Think of the possible opportunities your book will create on your behalf. Let your end goal outweigh the overwhelming book-writing process.
One goal I have for all of my books is for them to be accessible to people in (and outside of) my community. Last week, I was blessed with an opportunity to speak at an elementary school in Los Angeles. I spoke about the importance of language capital and grammar awareness (but, of course, I broke the topic down so that 5th graders would understand). I challenged the students to think of the English language as a key that opens the door to many global opportunities (e.g. writing, teaching, government affairs). I shared the short version of my career story including teaching in South Korea. I also shared some book-writing tips and answered 1,535,546 questions about writing in general. It was a fulfilling feeling to see hope in so many students' eyes, and it reminded me of the fact that everyone has a story inside of them. Whether it's fact or fiction, I strongly believe that everyone has a unique perspective, family history, or life experience that is worthy to be shared.
This particular experience didn't just end in the classroom. The school's library also played/plays a role in my excitement because they cataloged my grammar book, Look Better In Writing: A Quick & Easy Guide to Punctuation Marks. Meaning, that entire school (i.e. students, faculty, teachers, staff) has access to a book I wrote for people who struggle with grammar. A book I wanted to be in the hands of people in my community. As a Los Angeles (by way of Compton) native, a part of my dream came true last week. My end goal was accomplished!
Now imagine if I would’ve given up prematurely and never published my book?! I wouldn't be reminiscing about my classroom conversation with fearless elementary students.
Moral of the story: Don’t let “quitting” be a part of your story.
WRITERS, YOU CAN DO IT!
I repeat: YOU CAN DO IT!
Just think of the end goal.
PS. There are a few pictures of me with some of the elementary school students (below). Their faces are hidden out of respect for the students, the students' parents, the teachers, etc.
PS2. You can watch the second video in my #ClassroomConversations video series by clicking here.