Poetic Power

A Creative Communication blog

Take the Time to Finish…It Feels Good

Ten years ago, after I had been divorced for several years, I published a book called Broken Hearts….Healing: Young Poets Speak Out on Divorce.  It was a compilation of kids from across the US who wrote on their feelings and the stages they went through from a divorce.  It was written by the real experts, the kids, and received a couple of national awards.

Yesterday we published the ebook version at smashwords.com.  In doing this I reflected back to what made me create and publish a book.  After my divorce, my kids would come home and tell me that they were the only kids in their school that come from a divorce family.  In reality, about half of their classmates were in this group.   The book was created to help them realize that they were not alone.

However, publishing the book was more than the content of what was created. It was a project completed.  How many of us have large goals that stay as good intentions.  Something we think about and don’t follow through to completion.  When I received my Ph.D., one of my professors stated that there are thousands of students every year that start a graduate program, often they finish the classwork, but end up ABD (All But Dissertation) and never receive their Ph.D.  Aside from the big things in life like creating a book or getting a degree, how many small things do we need to cross off our list?  Small things that we could accomplish, yet don’t, due to our just not doing them.

I look back at things I have done for my students in the classroom, for the students we work with in the contests, my family and personal areas of my life.  When I take a task and finish it, looking back makes me proud of myself.  I feel more confident.  It feels good.

For the students we work with in the contests, we have hundreds of letters stating that becoming a published writer or artist became an event in their lives that is an accomplishment.  Taking the time to create and finish a task, at any level, is something we can all do.  Look around at the various parts of your life.  What can you finish?  What can you help your students finish?  For me, 10 years ago it was a book that is now used by school counselors across the US.  Something I did hopefully made a difference in some child or parent’s life.  However, I do know that completing a goal had made a difference in my life.

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Contests Create Life Long Learners

One of our goals as a company is to make a difference in the world.  To see if our contests and books can help motivate students and create life long learners.  This week I received two emails that I want to share.

From our writing contest:

“I am a literature teacher in Kentucky. Last year my 9 and 10th grade class entered the contest. Some of the students seemed to have no interest at all in poetry; others were just going through the rigmarole of class and tolerating our attempt. With the help of your teacher’s aids I was able to introduce poetry to these students. Several of our student’s received a request to publish their poem. One of our female students who had never written a poem in her life was chosen. Thank you so much! It was wonderful to see these kids come alive and embrace their inner poet. Keep up the marvelous work.”

From our art contest:

“One of my eighth grade students parents from last year had called just before Christmas. She asked me what she needed to get for her daughter to keep painting because she was so inspired and motivated by getting published last year.”

Our contest may be a one-time event, but when we can create a spark that then develops a flame that inspires students to develop into writers or artists, we have made a difference in the world.  I always tell teachers that this is their contest, that we are just here to make it all happen.  I am glad that we can work together.  Keep up the good work.

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