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March, 2015

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In this issue... An Unorthodox Writer’s Journey

An Unorthodox Writer’s Journey

by Kathy Hartwell

When Bruce asked me to write an article for his newsletter, I agreed but secretly cringed. To be honest, I am quite certain he will have doubts about publishing this article, but I struggled for a few days as to the writing’s topic, but failed until I prayed for guidance.










An Unorthodox Writer’s Journey (continued)

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When Bruce asked me to write an article for his newsletter, I agreed but secretly cringed. To be honest, I am quite certain he will have doubts about publishing this article, but I struggled for a few days as to the writing’s topic, but failed until I prayed for guidance.

Well, here is the unorthodox writing I produced. It is the first I have officially written in years for other writers. Grant you, the article will not be one that you are expecting – quite the contrary. This article will show you what happened to me during my writing career, but it is my hope its contents may somehow help someone else who is struggling with writing and fighting their inner demons whether to write or not. For those who will want to give advice to me, that will be fine, but I have had enough advice to write an encyclopedia – and none worked at length. Truth is, I have to discover what is the best advice for me; it can only come from the depths of my own heart and that is the question of whether to write or not and end my misery one way or the other. With that said, let me take a journey backwards to my writing origins and progress to the present.

At one time, I would have leapt for joy to be asked to write even one sentence for someone in the writing world. Later, writing became a drudgery to crank out one sentence, much less a 400-plus article. Truth is I have not written anything that has been remotely productive since around 2004. I had high expectations that I would be successful in the writing world, but my idealistic aspirations proved otherwise.

I began writing poems around 1996. Some were nice, but most could have been written by a kindergarten student. While it may seem that I was too harsh on myself at the time, I concluded that I was not born to be a poet; however, I tried.

Next, I wrote short stories. A few were published in local newspapers or in other online/offline venues, but I was never compensated for my work. At that time money was not the issue for me; I was delighted just to be asked to write or have someone accept my writing to fill the empty spaces on their publication’s pages.
I then ventured into writing my first novel. Everything went well until I began taking everyone’s suggestions and ideas and incorporating them into my novel. In the end, the novel’s contents were not mine but theirs. I simply did not have the confidence to write the novel on my own. I did not believe I could write the wretched writing monolith alone – and I did not.

I returned to college after being on academic suspension hiatus for over twenty years. The first time I attended, I was majoring in nursing. I discovered I was more interested in boys than in studying biology. As a result, I was academically suspended from college.  I later married and had one son. I felt like I had what I needed and wanted in life, but my husband at the time thought otherwise. So, we divorced, and I moved back to my home state of West Virginia where I returned to my original institution of learning.

I made it my mission to bring up my Grade Point Average (GPA) from a 1.76 to a 3.0. That is like going from a failing grade to an above normal grade. I almost accomplished the feat. I ended with a 2.86 GPA, but due to an honor society which gives people second chances, Gamma Beta Phi, I was inducted as a member. I later paid for the privilege of being a lifetime member of the organization.

Several years later, I returned to college to work on my master’s degree. This time, I was determined to graduate with high honors. I was even selected as 2004 Graduate Student of the Year. That same college offered me an adjunct position teaching English Composition courses, and I continue to teach them to date (but at a different institution).

For those who attended college, composition (academic) writing is polar opposite from creative writing, and my inner writing world now revolves around that curriculum. I love teaching students to have the confidence to write without being overly criticized. I think I have succeeded, but I will never fully know the impact my teaching had on them.

I completed another novel in which I self-published through Lulu.com. The book never sold more than a few copies. I decided when I was writing the historical fiction book that I would be historically, not politically, correct. This proved to be the book’s demise. Besides, people want to read books that will take them out of their negative environment and not make them experience those bad feelings from reading a book.
Since then I do not have the desire, nor the inclination, to write. I cannot say I never will, but I do know that for close to a decade, I have only written or tweeted short anecdotal quotes or political articles. While I am certain Bruce was not expecting my writing to be as such for this newsletter, it was what was on my heart to write. I can only write what I feel passionate about, and this article speaks the truth of where I stand today in my writing.
I do not know if I will ever write, or even want to write in the future, but I do know that I do think about it every day; however, thinking about it is not the same thing as placing it in tangible words and phrases, is it?


Humanity´s existence is on peril. Its worst enemy is not only violence, war or terrorism, but also a profound lack of love, sensibility and empathy. A complete change for all of us is possible, but only will arrive from an innovative thought and a serious research on the possible ways out. 

The solution to our problem hides in this book…Let us find the cure to this severe illness that is causing the decadence and perhaps death of our blue planet Earth. 


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Publishing New Writers,

March, 2015 (no. 1603)


Dr. Bruce L. Cook
1407 Getzelman Drive
Elgin, IL 60123

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