Author Speaking Event — Jackson College

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Author Speaking Event — Jackson College

I had the opportunity to speak to some kids at Jackson College and to offer them some encouragement and here’s a clip from that — enjoy and don’t forget to leave your comments below and click the like button on YouTube!

 

 

When I was in school I knew I wasn’t good at English class because I had such a fear of reading out loud. I stuttered and fumbled my words, so I spent most of my time in school avoiding that.

So, when it came to reading, I wasn’t interested in doing something that brought me so much discomfort.

It took until I was about 25 to get over it. It wasn’t that I couldn’t read, but that I had a complex about reading out loud. Then when I started doing a Bible study with a friend, she didn’t laugh and that helped me come out of my shell. That was one of the biggest things that helped me to overcome that.

Writing wasn’t something that I set out to do, but when the idea came to me it was so strong, I knew I had to get it out there. I believe that we all have content that we have to provide and if you keep it in there, it’s not going to help who it’s meant to help.

No matter what type of content you want to do, whether it’s writing or videos, you have to get it out there.

So, now I have this idea and what am I going to do with it? I thought of my sister who loves to write, she went to school for it and it’s right in her field. I went to my sister and I said “I want you to write this, it has to be done.” And she said okay, so we brainstormed and we came up with some things. But, next thing I knew it wasn’t getting done.

It kept coming at me and I believe that it was something that was put in me from God. I heard that it was something that I was supposed to do. So, I started doing it. The next challenge was, “you don’t know anything about writing.” These were the things that continued to try and hold me back and stop me from doing it.

Bright and the Bully Children's Book

One thing I’ve learned from past business ventures is that whatever it is that you want to do, you need to be working on it on a daily basis. You need to research it and try to interview other people who did it. So, I started to reach out to other people and started learning.

The main thing I learned with writing was to “show and not tell” which means that you’re supposed to show more in your writing than you do your telling. For most people, we try to tell the story and you have to put it into action form instead.

This started to become more exciting for me and not only did I write Bright and the Bully, but I wrote another book, and then another. Now I have about six pieces of work and I’m wondering, “where is all this coming from?” with this person who is not a writer, because I’m not a writer in a traditional sense. I didn’t set out to be a writer or to win any kind of award.

But, all of this content is inside me, each and every one of you have a story. If you just go back over your life and think about the things you’ve experienced, you could write tons of books, and those books can help somebody.

I looked at different things, like traditional publishing and the pros and cons versus self-publishing. I learned that self-publishing was a great way to go in today’s climate because of what Amazon has done in the publishing field.

In the next step, I looked at it like a business, that’s one of the things that brings me a lot of pleasure, more than writing. So I started my own publishing company called 215 Publishing. With doing this I had to research even more and then it was all set up and ready to go.

We’re talking about writing, but I think that in anything that you have that you want to do, anything that you have in your heart that God put there, whatever has been put in you, is meant to get out of you.

The first thing you have to say is “I’m willing to do it,” and you have to be willing to take that step.

I had to start taking these steps, and then I turned around two years later and I had this finished product called Bright and the Bully. Also, I had a publishing company, I had different social media outlets, and a huge buzz from people all across the world who wanted to buy my book and wanting me to speak at different places.

That’s my story and what I feel as far as encouragement, because you’re all at an age where you’re thinking about the future and what you want to do. It doesn’t have to be writing, but whatever it is, you have to do it with the same tenacity and the same kind of mindset of working right away.

As for the art for the books, it was a challenge. I know a lot of people who can draw really well, and one friend, I said, “Ok, I want you to do this book for me,” and I paid him and he started working on it. But, what happened was that he was a great artist, but he wasn’t capturing the illustration process in the way that I wanted it to be. I didn’t want my book to be a “fly-by” book, I wanted to put a lot into it.

So I searched all over the internet through Facebook groups and YouTube, because anything you want – you can find through Google. Through searching all over I ran into a guy from Singapore and he does really good work. I told him that if he could draw me out a storyboard that I would hire him. He did and we developed a good relationship, as a matter of fact, I just watched his wedding a couple weeks ago via live-stream. So, it’s given me another connection from somewhere else.

That’s one of the most important parts when you’re dealing with a kid’s book is to make sure the illustrator is up to par because in children’s books the pictures are what really tells the story. My sister for example, her kids that are over five, they can read it great, but the little one who is three doesn’t read on the same level, but she can understand everything just by seeing the pictures.

That was one of the things that was challenging in the beginning, especially when you’re looking at illustrators and they cost from a couple thousand to ten thousand, or twenty thousand, depending on who you get to do it. The more well known the illustrator is, the more it’ll cost.

I enjoyed speaking to the kids at Jackson College and I hope that they’ve learned some things about the writing and illustrating process that helps them to do the things they want to do in life.

Thanks and Be Bright!

T.W. Bright


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