“PLEASE WRITE” Wins Gold Medal at the Midwest Book Awards Gala

If you think a long-held dream will never come true for you, or that you only have one career path meant for you, I ask you to think again.

For 32 years, I served as an environmental planner for local, state, and federal agencies. My calling was public service and that was that. I retired while working in my chosen profession, then stepped into a total void when I left. As the old world I knew became farther and farther away in the rearview mirror, something I buried for many years was begging to emerge. I discovered that I had deep creative interests and yearnings. This wasn’t completely surprising to me because I grew up in a family of creative people. I just thought a creative, artful life was for someone other than me. Instead, I thought of myself as more of a creative thinker than a maker of art.

When I began writing my first (and so far, only) book, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would find myself entering book award contests and winning a few. In fact, before releasing my book into the world, I asked my husband to read it through one last time to be sure it was a good idea to publish it at all. I wasn’t sure anyone wanted to read a book about handwritten letters. I mean, really? To my surprise and delight, there were such individuals, and not only did they read it, but they also sent me letters telling me how much it touched or inspired them. Is there anything more meaningful to any artist?

When anyone has spent time creating art (paintings, song writing, sculpture, woodworking, writing, acting, etc.), and one has invested deeply in the process, the most important outcome you could wish for is that your art resonated and caused a reaction in someone else. Writing rarely pays big dividends these days, but the most important aspect of it has to do with the personal challenge of creating something meaningful from nothing and having it alter a perception, feeling or thought in someone else. There is joy in the exchange of that energy and magic between two people. I’ve been so pleased to be able to experience that feeling with my book, Please Write.

Receiving public recognition for your artistic efforts is icing on the cake. I was humbled and honored to be among a large group of talented writers at the Midwest Independent Publishers Association’s 2024 Midwest Book Awards Gala at the Mall of America on June 22, 2024. It was a thrill to win the Midwest Book Award’s Gold Medal for Inspirational Non-Fiction. Seeing the range of talent and enthusiasm for writing books at this event was truly inspirational.

I now believe that the vast majority of us have something to say, something we need to create to express our authentic selves. The form it takes isn’t that important. Rather than talk ourselves out of trying because we might not be “successful”, we should simply embrace the urge to create somethinganything–and do it, regardless! Take a risk. The world will be better for it. Heaven knows we need every creative idea we can get during these challenging times. Tell your stories, share your mind, create joy and delight, regardless. The rewards are there if you are willing to do the work. And I’ll be cheering for you every step of the way.