Listening to J.A. Jance Talk About Her Journey to Realizing Her Dream as a Writer was inspiring.
Tears welled and my head nodded in agreement. My throat choked with emotions. I sat spell-bound while J. A. Jance talked about her journey to realizing her dream as a writer.
Many life events could have deterred her but the dream and drive to write always won out. She'd been told women couldn't support themselves writing. Being a part of that same generation I found her talk heartwarming and inspiring. I'd had a college professor tell me I would not get hired as a history teacher because the history teachers were men and coached.
|The gracious J.A. Jance and a thrilled Judith|
The time does come in every writer's life when she must decide whether to use her "real" name or a pseudonym. That time did come and although Ms. Jance was more than willing to use her legal name, that wasn't what happened. People wouldn't buy her books if they knew they were written by a woman!
Actually as I was growing up, girls and women were often told they could not succeed in certain professions because – well, after all they were women and women just didn’t or couldn’t do that. I had my share of challenges as I worked in law enforcement and corrections two male dominated professions.
While I've always had positions that required me to write (articles, newsletters, reports, home studies, etc.), I didn't start writing fiction until 1999. Being self-employed with several different contracts and being a parenting grandparent didn't leave a lot of time to write - but I did when I could. Now I'm semi-retired. I still teach workshops based on Dr. William Glasser's Choice Theory and Reality Therapy and I write. And, as long as these two activities bring joy to my life, I plan on keeping on. Currently I've the last two books in the original The Sacred Women's Circle series to finish and several more books to write after that. Good thing I want to live to be 100!
As I look around me at the young women of today including both of my granddaughters, I see a level of confidence, a belief in their right to go for whatever career or life they want. Do they know that at one point there wasn't even a path and that women like J. A. Jance and other pioneers in writing and other professions worked long and hard and sacrificed so that they now have a paved the path upon which they walk? Do they understand that many of the things they take for granted (birth control, freedom from sexual harassment, the right to vote) are precious because generations of women before them fought and survived abuse and deprivation?
I can only hope so.
Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.
You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.
Check out my Windtree Press author page.
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© 2016 Judith Ashley