Since my book, Gutsy Women Win, has been published, I have had many people ask me “Why did you write a book?” They never asked me why I wrote this specific book, or why I wrote on this specific topic. No. They were yearning to know my why, my deeper vision and what was strong enough to keep me looking forward through a long and sometimes very tedious process.
I think in my answer they are hoping to find their own answer to writing their own book that they’ve been dreaming of writing.
Here’s my primary why.
I was born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois. My Mom and Dad never made it to high school and although they would voraciously read the newspaper and news magazines, the only books I recall in the house was the Encyclopedia. From a very young age, I loved to read and when I was old enough to cross the busy streets by myself, I would head to the Mayfair Public Library on the corner of Lawrence and Elston.
This was a one-room library with shelves made of wood filled with glorious books along three walls, tables and chairs on the inside of these shelves, and the large wood card catalog with little drawers filled with index cards (how you found where books were shelved) was in the middle of the room. I loved the Dewey Decimal System. It always felt like solving a mystery when I located the book.
Gutsy Women Win on the Foster City, CA library shelf
The fourth wall was the entrance and the librarian’s desk.
When you opened the door the smell of seasoned wood and musty books that were filled with knowledge and creativity and travels and humor and life stories would hit you. I always remember that feeling of anticipation for what I would find there. What new worlds and possibilities and visions would open up to me.
Even on beautiful sunny days in Chicago one of my favorite things was to spend hours in the public library reading and imagining all about the adventures I would someday go on or the people I would someday meet or even the person I would someday become.
It was a sacred, safe and peaceful place for me.
I always thought that writers were brilliant, imaginative, and creative people and that had a huge impact on me. I assumed it impacted others in the same way. There was something magical to me about having a book with your name on it on a library shelf. It commanded a certain respect for the author for writing a book and sharing their words with others and maybe, just maybe, change a person’s life, or dreams, or perspective.
And that’s what I wanted.
I wanted a book on a library shelf that had my name on it.
That’s why I finally wrote the book.
And, even though I had to walk into my own library and ask them to buy a book (instead of it being in all public libraries all over the United States as was my vision), there is a book, sitting on a library shelf, waiting to be picked up and read, and with humbleness and hope, impact the reader.
Am I more brilliant, imaginative, and creative now that I have a book on a shelf in a library?
No. But, I did make a childhood dream come true.
And that’s why I wrote the book.
CEO Chief Empowerment Officer
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