â€œItâ€™s not what we get that makes us successful; it is who we become in the getting.â€
â€“ Rev. Dr. Arthur Chang
Writers take a path through life unlike anyone elseâ€™s. Being a writer molds us just as we mold and shape our stories. We see with a writerâ€™s eye, capturing sunsets to describe in vivid detail, studying the face of a stranger with deep laugh lines or furrows of sorrow. Our mind is always plotting, characterizing, storing information for a scene in a book or a play or a poem.
We endure struggles of hardship or illness while storing away our deepest feelings for the people in our novels who will embody our pain in that emotional realism. It is a double-edge sword. We draw from a deep reservoir of personal experience, but we also expose little truths about ourselves in the process. We are much braver than we give ourselves credit for.
It is not selling a book that makes us successful. It is who we become in the process, overcoming the odds, embracing the fears, pushing ourselves beyond our own personal limitations.
Most writers are hermits, preferring the solitude of their writing cave over pitching a story or doing a booksigning. To every such writer who has sent a query letter or talked to an editor or introduced yourself to a bookseller â€“ you are a success. You are growing beyond your comfort zone. You have gained something along the way.
This OCC presidency has been a pathway of personal growth, pushing me far beyond my own comfort zone. Challenges were too many to mention. Some met with success. Some not. I wish I could say that I met all of them with poise and grace, but I didnâ€™t. No matter how I handled a situation, there was always something for me to learn about myself in the process.
As this is my last Presidentâ€™s Message, I would like to give a very big thank-you to my board: Randi Jorgensen, Cheryl Stevens, Mindy Neff, Rowena Hacker, Bobbie Cimo, Debra Mullins, Michelle Thorne, Sandy Chvostal, Jann Audiss, Dana Belfry, Barb DeLong, Linda Prine and Laura Wright. Also a huge thanks to all of the volunteers who help run this chapter. I truly appreciate all of your hard work.
Finally, I would like to leave you with this quote that has been a daily inspiration for me â€“
In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, donâ€™t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. â€“ Lao Tzu
Good luck and best wishes to all of you. – Sue Phillips
Thank you Sue, for all you’ve done for OCC and always being there with a helping hand and giving words of encouragement…not to mention always trying to come up with a solution when we needed some answers. And thank you for generously giving us your home for those long board meetings and guest receptions. I’ll miss being on the board with you. Bobbie