As mentioned in last week’s post about great books for the back-to-school season, now we’re going to hear directly from Dr. Barbara Culp herself.
Dr. Culp started out as a preschool teacher before teaching at the elementary and middle school levels. The area superintendent promoted her until she became the principal of one of the largest elementary schools in Georgia.
After retiring, she found that education was a field she could never leave. She returned to work as a field supervisor of aspiring teachers before founding a tutorial service. The books she has written allow her to reach out to everyone who is focused on academic excellence.
More than four decades of experience have been distilled into this series. Each of the comprehensive books targets teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and students with thoughtful, relevant advice. Readers empower themselves with wisdom from an educator who has been where they want to go.
She kindly took a break from her busy schedule to answer a few questions for this blog.
How would your advice for new writers differ from advice you would offer writers who have been in the game for a while?
To a new writer, I would say it takes time to fine tune your writing skills. Don’t give up, because your passion and purpose will take you places you never dreamed of.
To a seasoned writer, I would say you owe it to your voice in the world to mentor others who have a calling on their lives to write.
When you take a break from writing, is it a full and total break or is your mind constantly parsing the world for fodder? What does that parsing look like? How does it make you feel as an artist? As a human being?
For me, my mind is constantly at work searching within and without looking for more thoughts and information to fill the void with respect to the project I’m currently working on. It resembles an outline or table of contents; it is part of the whole that inspires more.
It makes me feel that I have something of value to add to the big picture of reading and writing and, as an artist, I am challenged to always put my best foot forward.
From your perspective as an author, what do you feel is the biggest challenge to the publishing industry today? Is there a way to solve that challenge?
I think the greatest challenge to publishers is to get people reading again. In a world where technology rules, reading a book seems to be the last thing people want to do.
I hate to offer this suggestion, but the right incentives usually motivate people to doing things they might not do on their own…so, hide messages in books that lead to monetary rewards/incentives or put books on audio to be listened to as we travel to and from.
What books are you currently reading?
I am currently reading the Bible and The Moses Code.
Which authors do you think are underappreciated in the current market, and why? (The authors do not have to be living.)
I think James Baldwin was an underappreciated Black author during his time, and that was one of the reasons why he left America and moved to France. If he were living today, his novels would probably be bestsellers as he had a tendency to speak about human sexuality as it exists in the world today.
Which new writers do you find most interesting, and why?
Michelle Alexander is a new author, civil rights attorney, and Professor of Law at Ohio State University who wrote a book titled The New Jim Crow. She spotlights racism based on her insight as a civil rights lawyer. In her book, she helps us to see the imbalance in our justice system when it comes to race in America.
Finding the discipline to keep writing can be tough. Which “get writing” techniques are most effective for you?
Believe it or not, I believe I write best when I am bored or depressed. When I am feeling low, I can write my way back to a place of happiness, self-acceptance and self-reliance. The ideas, words, and thoughts seems to just flow.
Can you give us a sneak peek into your current project?
Again, my next project is school/workplace related, and it centers on building highly effective and efficient operating teams in support of greater student success.