When I attended the Patron of Reading Conference in February this year the lovely Helena Pielichaty, the first ever Patron of Reading, gave a moving speech about her experience of being a Patron of Reading. She finished by saying ‘This is the thing of which I’m most proud’. Helena is a talented and profilic author who has had numerous books published including the popular Girls FC series but the thing she is most proud of is inspiring children to read through her POR work. This made me think. What made me proud? What were my rainbow moments, the things that brighten my day?
When I get a new book published I’m always pleased when I finally hold the printed copy in my hands, but proud? No. I’m too besieged with doubts; what if no one likes it? What if there are some typos (and yes, that’s happened a few times), what it if doesn’t sell? I’m fully aware that while my books pay the bills they aren’t literary masterpieces.
My rainbow moments are when a teacher at a school I’m visiting tells me that a pupil who has listened engrossed to my story has never sat still to listen to a story before, or that a pupil who has filled a page in one of my workshops has never before written more than a sentence, when a former creative writing student gets an agent or a book deal, a social media student starts their first blog or makes their first tweet. I feel proud when I’ve helped someone to achieve something.
Earlier this year a lady attended one of my writing class. She had never written anything before, never used a computer, but wanted to write a children’s story for her grandchildren. She worked hard on this story throughout the course. Then one week she told us she’d bought a second-hand computer and was taking IT lessons. On the final week she brought in a neatly typed copy of her story. She was so pleased and proud. Helping that lady write her story is my brightest rainbow moment this year.
What are your rainbow moments?
Karen King writes all sorts of books. Check out her website at www.karenking.net