I’ve been writing for well over 50 years.
It all began when I wrote a term paper in graduate school at the age of 24. The following week when I walked into class, the professor and my classmates stood up and applauded as they waved a copy of my paper in their hands. I was flabbergasted.
The professor had made copies of my paper with an A+ written on the top right-hand corner. He thought the paper was good enough for me to submit to one of the professional journals. My jaw dropped. “Are you kidding me?” I couldn’t believe it. You can imagine what I must have felt as a psychology student, still wet behind the ears, to be told he had written something worth publishing!
So I set about editing the paper and making it conform to the standards of the journal to which I was submitting it. Never in a million years did I expect it to be accepted. Several weeks later I received a letter from the journal’s editor saying, “We are pleased to inform you that you recent submission was accepted for publication….” “Holly shit!” I shouted. I showed the letter to my wife and quickly shared it with my professor. My wife gave me a big kiss and my professor, well, he gave me a big smile.
And that was the beginning. By the time I had graduated I had three publications under my belt.
In 1965 I joined the staff at UCLA and continued writing. I started a weekly column in the school newspaper (the Daily Bruin) called The Counselors Corner. One day I was contacted by a publisher inviting me to write a book. This was back in 1970, at the height of campus unrest, the hippie movement, Black Power, and the Vietnam war protests. It was in this climate that Youth Search for Meaning published.
And so it began. Once I accepted the fact that I had a modicum of talent and had something to say that people found valuable, there was no stopping. Over the ensuing years I wrote many articles – professional and nonprofessional – and five nonfiction books.
By the time I had been in practice as a psychologist for just about fifty years, I had met and treated many people, each of whom had a very interesting story to tell. My mission as a psychologist has always been to give people an opportunity to be seen and heard, to provide a venue where their lives mattered. I wanted to help people maximize their potential and achieve their goals. I wanted to help them discover their hidden potential that had been long buried under a host of circumstances and dysfunctional behavior.
Some of these stories became the basis for my novels. I knew that their stories could be inspiring to others and their quests would resonate with others. Some people relate to nonfiction and self-help books; others relate to fiction stories with a psychological message.
Previously I wrote nonfiction exclusively. Five years ago I turned my attention to writing fiction. Not only did I want to learn how to write fiction, but I also wanted to affect a larger audience. Perhaps, through identification with some of the characters or the message embedded in these stories, these works would help others discover their own potential.
Each of my five novels deals with a different psychological theme; each one is designed to reveal an aspect of the human condition. Through the stories I hope to present characters who struggle with real issues in their search for authentic existence. In each case they struggle to overcome some obstacle that prevents them from becoming fully human.
In subsequent blog posts I will delve a little deeper into the characters, plots, motivations, and my own intentions while writing each of my books.