Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Taking the Next Step with your Writing

Basically the outdoors has been my niche.  
For the longest time I've written primarily on the outdoors genre focusing my pen towards topics like fishing, boating, camping and surfing. Oh yeah, I've dappled in other areas more often lately, like conservation, but basically the outdoors has been my niche.  

Recently I've taken a sharper, more critically inspection of my pen's aim. What I see is a need for a stronger focus on education advocacy. Take for instance, in my home state of Florida; the Department of Education celebrated Literacy Week in the middle of January, while the rest of the nation celebrated National Literacy Action late in January. Its surprising Florida is ahead on the celebration, but its educational system has lacked behind the vast majority of our nation's school systems for as long as it has been in existence. Wait a minute; I'm not blaming the teachers or anyone else.

Unfortunately, the one thing Florida politics pride themselves is the pace of our state's population expansion. They preach that the growth is Florida's only savior.  

When I was a boy Florida was ranked thirtieth in the nation in population, and very near the bottom of the heap in money spent on education. Today our state is ranked third in the nation population-wise, and we're still spending far less than the majority of other states on education. This disparaging statistic sickens me. Education is a big part of quality of life.

Recently I attended a Florida Writers Association's (FWA) winter conference in Bradenton. The FWA volunteers did a fine job of organizing and running this event, and overall the instructors did teach a wide variety of topics dealing with the craft of writing. The idea of attending the conference was generated on a desire to reach authors and expand my knowledge of writing. My objectives were reached in both categories.  

However, what I relearned from attending this conference is the value of mentors, and how each of us can reach new levels of understanding by teaching others what we have learned. When we mentor young readers and new writers, not only do we give back to our roots, but also we expand our circle of influence and increase our comprehension of the subjects we teach. 

For a better world, writers, get out there, sharpen your skills, share your knowledge with other writers and readers, and watch your world grow — then our quality of life expand.

Rodney Smith, CEO of Little Pond Publishing;and author of Catching Made Easy and Enjoying Life on the Indian River Lagoon is a visionary and community leader who like to share his tales. Download these books digitally on Amazon, iTunes and Barnes and Noble by searching "Rodney Smith+Name of book"; or order the soft-covered books online!  See all of Rodney's upcoming events and exploits at www.rodneysmithmedia.com.