On Thanksgiving Day, I dragged through the work feeling sad, wondering why bother to connect kids and cultures in my job as an international schoolteacher and ex pat blogger. I suffered from writer’s angst about my upcoming memoir publication. I missed my homeland, friends, and family, including both Big Kids now living in the States. Like the November weather outside my window, a dense fog settled in my soul. Then I received an unexpected gift – the Written Acts of Kindness Award – from a friend I have never met personally.
Kathy and I took Dan Blank’s Build Your Author Platform Course in 2011. Now we follow each other all over cyberspace! Kathy is a grandma on the go, retired family nurse practitioner, cancer survivor and inspiring writer, whose strong faith and sense of purpose comes through admirably on her blog site, Memoir Writer’s Journey. She is working on a memoir about the power of hope through her faith in God.
What is this award all about?
When Cate Russell-Cole initiated the “Written Acts of Kindness Award”, she intended it to be paid forward by anyone at any time. The best part of this award is that you can give it as many times as you wish and you do not have to be a recipient to award it to someone else.
Cate is a Trainer, Editor, Social Worker and Author with an understanding of both the psychological and technical aspects of writing. Her website communiCATE is filled with resources for writers. Recently, she developed this award to recognize people who inspire her.
“Success never comes solely from your own efforts. There are always others along the way who give you a hand up; encourage you; or give you that resource, or piece of advice you never could have done without. If I see someone who is using their writing gift to help others, I am going to take the time to thank them publicly. To do that, I have created this award. I also want to make it open to anyone to use, so they can say thank you for making a difference in the writing community and/or in your life.
I feel so honored. Life is good. And now I get to pass this award on to someone who has inspired me. Since I have so many wonderful virtual blogger friends who have inspired me, I may be passing this on to others along the way.”
I would like to pass the Written Acts of Kindness honor to Clara Freeman, my home girl in the Windy City, who tells it like it is in a no nonsense style. Like Clara, I like to think that I, too, champion the small-fry, little guy.
Clara’s life calling is about empowering women. She began her entrepreneurial journey 35 years ago, as nurse in Chicago, where women — patients and staff alike- sought her advice. From improving their professional and personal lives, to encouraging women and girls of all ages, Clara knew what to say to make a difference.
But Clara was not “all talk”: she worked on behalf of women, helping address their problems within the health and legal systems by writing letters to third parties and conducting research. Clara became “a voice for the underdog”, something she has learned the value of as a child raised during the days of Jim Crow in the Deep South. Clara’s desire to help others resulted in the launch of Authentic Woman, in 2008, to address the concerns of all women.
Whenever I am feeling down, I turn to Clara’s page for comfort. She inspires me to put one foot forward through her Authentic Woman site. From Kathy Pooler to Clara Freeman, blogging means paying it forward without monetary return, visible compensation or tangible reward. We write to connect, to empower, to inspire because it feels right in a world where so much is going wrong.