Tribute to the Writing Community

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Firstly I would just like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. I have been out of action for the last month due to health and family issues but am hoping things will improve now and I can return to doing what I love.

Before I get to the point, I think I should introduce my background and explain how I first came to find myself in the writing world. I grew up in rural Australia in the 1950’s and 60’s. The biggest influences on me growing up were the racism displayed towards Aboriginal Australians and gender inequality. My best friends at high school were Aboriginal girls and I remember clearly not understanding why they were treated as though they were inferior. This combined with gender inequality developed a strong sense of social justice in me that lives on to this day.

The norm for most young girls in my childhood years was that there was no need for a good education. Girls would marry and have a family and the money spent on their education would be wasted. That was certainly the case for me and I remember being devastated when my father told me I wouldn’t be going on to finish high school. If there was a positive in this disappointment, it was that it developed a life long quest in me to increase my knowledge and skills. After raising my own family I was nearly 50 before I finally achieved my life long dream of attending university.

Until 2 years ago I worked as a visual artist and founded an arts organisation in Brisbane called Impress Printmakers Studio Brisbane. I first started writing poetry about twenty years ago for fun as I didn’t have much time to try my hand at writing seriously with a family and art career. But writing is something I have always wanted to pursue, so 2 years ago I laid down the brushes and took up the pen.

I consider myself a novice in the writing world as I have only just published my first book and have only been blogging for just over two months. My thirst for knowledge and my love of trivia inspired me to write Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference, my first writing project. I decided to write a thoroughly researched book after realizing that some trivia sources were not providing factual and properly researched answers. All too often I would attend my local trivia evening believing I had the right answers to questions, only to find my reference sources had provided inaccurate information or information based solely on urban myth.

During my short writing career I have come to love the writing community. Having experienced the art world, I can honestly say that the support and encouragement writers show towards each other is something to be envied. We write because we believe we have something valuable to share with our readers and if we are lucky to make money. But even though writers are all striving for the same goals I have not experienced the same competiveness in the writing world that you see in other professions. Writers are a true community giving their knowledge, time, support and encouragement to others.

I believe it is a privilege and an honour to be part of this community and to be able to write something that other people are interested in and want to read. I would like to thank all my followers and those who have liked, commented on and shared my posts in 2017. Lets face it no matter how good they are, our blogs only become gems when they are read and shared by our fellow bloggers and authors.

Advances in technology and communications in recent decades have given more writers the opportunity to be published and to have a say in what goes on in the world around them. The way I see it this can only be a good thing for the future, as the sense of community that writers’ share is passed on through the global community.

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#Tribute to #Parents in the #Digital age

family-2485714_1280When I raised my own children 20 to 40 years ago it was a struggle even then to raise healthy, well adjusted young people who would survive the pitfalls of youth and grow up to contribute to society in a meaningful way. I know quite a few people from my generation who were really good parents and did a great job raising their children, only to find that at least one child ended up on the wrong path in life. That’s a heartbreak only a parent could know. The common factor in all of those instances was the company they started keeping in their teens or early adult life, particularly the partner they chose. This is something you have no control over once your children start making their own choices.

I think many of the parents and grandparents out there would agree with me when I say, being a parent or grandparent is a really tough gig. You can employ the best parenting strategies in the world but things don’t always turn out as you would expect. My philosophy these days on parenting is do your best, stay off your high horse as far as your rating as a parent goes and always expect the unexpected, that way it is easier to get back on the horse when there is a fall.

Being a parent in the Digital Age is an even tougher gig than it has been previously. I believe parents today deserve all the encouragement and support they can get. The world has changed so much in recent times that every time you think you’ve caught up it all goes and changes again. One of the biggest challenges facing parents today is the rapidly changing face of technology and social media. Parents are always playing catch up while their children are born into it.

In my day as a parent, we only had to deal with the arguments over who’s turn it was to use the wall phone. At least we could monitor who they were talking to because they couldn’t just grab the phone and disappear to the depths of their bedroom, not to be seen again for hours. We had no internet, computers, mobile phones, tablets or gaming consoles to deal with. These days parents have to deal with how much screen time their children are facing, what sites their visiting, if they are at risk of predators, on line bullying and a host of other problems that come with the new technology.

Young people these days even have their own texting language that many older people are at a loss to understand. My 14 year old granddaughter who lives with me, sent me a text the other day asking me what was for dinner. I replied with 2 choices. Then I received a text back simply stating Idm. I was in the process of asking her what that meant when I received a second text saying, I don’t mind. She must have realised after she sent the Idm text that she wasn’t talking to one of her friends and I probably wouldn’t know what she meant.

The second biggest challenge I believe parents are facing today is a loss of community. In the past most people at least knew all the neighbours in their street, people socialised more because that was a form of entertainment and young people were more involved in sport and cultural activities. World affairs and increases in crime rates have also impacted and contributed to a loss of community as people become more fearful. However despite all the negatives, I know many young parents who do a great job against the odds and try to revive a sense of community around their young families.

This post is as a tribute to young parents for a job well done. As a community we all need to get behind the parents of today and support them. We all have to pitch in and do our bit to make their job easier. The new technologies are a wonderful thing and make our lives so much easier but they will never replace the connection and support that community can bring. I must admit as a mature person I was reluctant to embrace the new technologies and only started using Facebook this year. But now I am using it to help re-generate a sense of community and hopefully support our young parents.