“I believe that being resilient is a critical ingredient in our survival as human beings,” said Dale Weaver, a former California State Long Beach professor, now the author of a book about resilience. “Hardship and suffering is part of the human condition. To be able to overcome adversity, to turn negatives into positives, requires a certain skill set.”
This is why he wrote Weaving a Resilient Life, in which he presents his formula for success. The book is part memoir and his advice is woven through 11 life lessons he learned through his own life’s trials and tribulations.
Carma Spence: What types of genres do you like to write?
Dale Weaver: I love to write about real-world experiences, especially traveling. Traveling to other countries requires that you set aside your world view and look at the world in a different way. I love trying to understand other people and cultures. I have also found writing to be very therapeutic. When you write about your own experiences, it forces you to look within and can sometimes give you a new perspective or a more complete understanding of your own life and it’s meaning.
CS: Where do you get your ideas?
DW: From the feelings and observations I make as I experience living my own life. I gain knowledge of myself and the world through many avenues: from media (TV, newspapers, books), from music, from talking with and listening to people, observing the life around me — the cars, the noise, the pollution, the ugliness — and also the positive things, such as taking a walk, smelling the roses, the ocean breeze, sand between my toes, savoring the tastes and smells of good food and drink, and the sheer pleasure of exchanging smiles with someone and sharing thoughts and feelings with each other.
CS: Did you always like writing?
DW: writing was something I used to dread — and still do! But it nags at you, haunts you, and beckons you; daring you to try and capture the essence of a thought or feeling with words, so that others, for one brief instant, can perceive the world as you do through your writing. Writing is a challenge, but comes with big intrinsic rewards — when I complete a thought — a sentence, paragraph, chapter, story, or book — it is tremendously rewarding. I get a lot of satisfaction from writing — especially when I get positive feedback from my readers.
CS: Do you have a set schedule to do your writing?
DW: I write best in the morning when my mind is fresh, my body is recharged, and the coffee is flowing freely. I can also write in the afternoons at coffee shops with the right vibe — cool people, the right background music, good lighting and few interruptions.
CS: How do you feel about the current state of writing? Is this a good time for writers?
DW: People are huge consumers of written material, but the venue has changed, hasn’t it? We now have the Internet and many people are able to self-publish books. There is probably more written material out there than ever before. This means more opportunities for writers, but also requires that we be more discriminating in our selection of what to read.
CS: What is the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?
DW: Tell a story. If it’s interesting to you and you tell it in the right way, with the right amount of descriptive detail, it will be interesting to others.
CS: What is the best advice you can give as a writer?
DW: Know your stuff. Do your research. Check your facts. Write from the heart, but be as accurate and as grammatically correct as you can. Don’t be scared to fail. Your writing will improve, the more you do it. Remember, the worst thing you ever wrote is better than the best thing you never wrote.
CS: What’s next for you and your writing?
DW: I want to capture and compile first-hand accounts from teen-age Latino students who have traveled from Mexico, Central and South America to the U.S. Through writing, I want to empower these students to share their struggles with the world and how they have overcome their hardships to create a new life in America. I want to create a non-profit organization, the Resilience Project, that takes the profits from these books (I envision it as a kind of Chicken Soup for the Soul series) and use the money to fund scholarships for these hard-working students to attend college.
To learn more about Weaver’s book, go to www.weavearesilientlife.com. Weave a Resilient Life is available in paperback at Amazon.com.
NOTE: Are you a writer, author or editor connected to Long Beach in some way? Please contact me … and you can be a part of my series of profiles of local writers!