I can't seem to get enough advice.
Today's guest is
Jonell Kirby Cash
My big hurtle was to block out uninterrupted time to write and to give myself permission to use the needed resources (time, money, energy) to get the help I needed to understand the structure of fiction. And I wanted to be part of the give-and-take of the creative writers’ community.
I approached what I needed like any self-confident woman would: I hid my, I want uninterrupted time, wish behind my age. I thought, No one expects an eighty-something year old to be available from early till late! This time slot idea was great because I enjoy working into the night—and I also enjoy sleeping my eight hours from the time I go to bed until I get up. I carved out my writing time from about 8pm until around 3am, when the home activities had settled down, and I slept from about 3am until 10:00am or later. (Note: As fate would have it, shortly after our marriage, my husband and I had agreed that we would make our own breakfast.)
My use of money was actually much less a problem at my age than it would have been had I been a young mother with children. Retired and with my own income (and with an agreed upon joint account for our common use) I did not need to account to anyone for my expenditures and I could determine what I could or would spend on my writing activities. For example, I was free to pay a consultant to critique my work if I made that choice. However, being away from home to attend conferences required negotiations and/or making the event a shared experience (which was not always convenient or even comfortable—but it was workable.)
As my writing progressed, and my commitment to my novel became more intense, I did have some internal friction about some things, like not having frequent family gatherings (because preparation and cleaning up afterwards was time consuming), and sometimes I had the feeling that my extended family was unhappy with the way I was using my time; yet, their disapproval (if real) was unspoken and so I pursued my dream knowing that we are living fully when we are pursuing our passion.
Voila! This past year, at age 82, I had my first novel, A RING, A DANCE, A SECOND CHANCE (Tate. 2011) published. Writing the love story about high school sweethearts, who marry more than forty years later, was a personally satisfying experience. Now, I’m looking forward to embarking on my next work of fiction.
Dr. Jonell Kirby Cash
Jonell Kirby Cash grew up in Georgia where she graduated from Franklin County, Georgia, high school, in 1947; Reinhardt Junior College, Waleska, Georgia, 1949; University of Georgia, , BS.HEC, 1952; MS Degree in Education, 1957; (PHD) EdD (in Education,) Counseling Psychology, 1964. She performed her post Doctoral work included a summer session at Carnegie Melon University.
She taught in the public schools of Georgia for twelve years and was a full-time teacher at UGA while she was a full-time doctoral student. Her first college position was at Augusta College as Directory of the Counseling Center and later served as Director of Instruction Director of Instruction with Georgia’s 9th District Services Center. She taught at the graduate level at University of Georgia, Syracuse University and West Virginia University, in Morgantown, WV. She moved to Kanawha Valley Graduate Center in Charleston, WV as Coordinator of Instruction with West Virginia University and later, was an Assoc. Dean for Program development, and she was involved in developing an accredited graduate college (WVCOGS) in Charleston, West Virginia.
Professionally, Dr. Jonell Kirby Cash served on the editorial board of the Journal for Specialists in Group Work and as an advisory editor for The Individual Psychologist; she was a member of the Commission on Higher Education of the North Central Accreditation Association, and a consultant to overseas workshops in Portugal, Australia, Brazil, Egypt and England.
Dr. Jonell Kirby Cash has authored four books in the field of psychology and counseling and since retiring has written her first novel, A Ring, A Dance, A Second Change. With her busy schedule Jonell has found time to attend workshops in writing, create a writing group, and read widely. Since retiring her volunteer work has included CASA, working with couple under stress and with disruptive children and troubled families.