Jump to content

a:A Change of Perspective

Recommended Posts

 “When I changed the way I looked at things, the things around me started to change.”

                                                              --Darrion Cockrell, 2021Missouri Teacher of the Year

Recently I watched a video about Darrion Cockrell’s accomplishments. He was born to a drug addict. He was a Crip before he was 10. He was a foster kid.

A kid like that usually goes down the tubes. Prison or the cemetery. Mr. Cockrell defied the odds. He’s now a St. Louis educator, and was named Teacher of the Year for my state this year.

Am I proud of this young man? Mos def. Am I inspired by what he’s achieved? Yes. But it was what he said--the quote at the beginning--that made me sit up straighter and truly pay attention.

Our perspective can have a ripple effect. When we change that perspective, the ripple changes.

When I was 13, I dreamed of being either a journalist, a social worker or a novelist. I fantasized about someday having a book on a bookstore shelf with my name on the spine… but deep down, I think I figured it would never happen. 

When I was 16 I dreamed of being an unpaid angst-filled poet (and I was).

Between my teens and entering my middle ages, I wrote: occasionally and without purpose. When I was in my 40’s I finally switched the way I looked at things. I realized that if I didn’t get off my broad, flat rump and start submitting, I’d never get published… and I aggressively went after that goal. I joined a writing critique group. I wrote and revised and submitted. A few of my pieces got published. 

When I was in my mid-50s, I dreamed of getting a book published. During NaNoWriMo I wrote, surrounded by my students. I daydreamed about finishing the manuscript I had started and getting it published. In my heart, however, I doubted my writing would ever interest a publisher.

Change of perspective resulted in a change in my life. I began querying, and looked at a high number of rejections as a goal. The more agents and publishers I contacted, the more likely my manuscript would eventually become a book… and it’s happening. This spring, my book Henry’s Story: Greenwood Gone will be making its grand debut.

Okay, so it won’t be a grand debut. There won’t be a red carpet (unless I roll it out myself). There won’t be a sea of photographers snapping my photo at author events (unless I strap a GoPro to my golden retriever, and strap one onto all of his four-legged friends, and bribe them with a smear of peanut butter once they’re finished). There won’t be a bunch of people wanting my autograph (unless my family members accept the $10 I give each of them to please please please show up and act like they’re buying a book… I’ll need the money back later, of course). 


But grand is in the eye of the beholder. Because of the pandemic, I’m looking at things differently. I’m not expecting what used to be a normal book roll-out. I’ll be prepared for different. Smaller. More creative due to possible constraints.

A change of perspective results in things changing around me. Congratulations, Darrion Cockrell… and thanks for inspiring young people.

Sioux Roslawski is a middle-school teacher and a freelance writer. Her book (has she mentioned it lately?) is coming out in the spring of 2021 and is titled Henry's Story: Greenwood Gone. If you'd like to read more of her writing, head to her blog.

[url={url}]View the full article[/url]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



WTF is Wrong With Stephen King?

  • Create New...