More about Author Monica Nawrocki
Monica Nawrocki stumbled onto writing by accident. After a wild eight-year teaching gig at a school for at-risk children and youth, a journal-flurry of "processing"’ caused Monica to cough up a book. That was in 2005, and Thanks for Chucking That at the Wall Instead of Me is in its second printing and still makes guest appearances on reading lists for university education courses from time to time.
She slid into fiction, as seems fitting for a raconteur prone to prevarication, and has written several novels for kids. A couple even got published. Full Moon Lagoon is a bit of history and a bit of magic, all set on Cortes Island, where Monica lives. Cedar Dance is an adventure that takes place at a kids’ camp on Vancouver Island.
After begging other artists to let her play with them, Monica was happy to be included in a show called Island Time. This collaboration led to the creation of a book by the same name, featuring photographs of the art that inspired the poetry and short fiction.
Publications in various magazines and anthologies have kept Monica going in her pursuit of writing short fiction, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction. (And to-do lists, as of yet, unpublished.)
Why do I write?
There have been many answers to this question through the centuries, and as I thought about some of the classic responses I've heard or read, the very first one that jumped into my head was, "Because I must."
Did you just roll your eyes? Me, too. But since it popped so insistently into my head, I feel it warrants a closer look.
My writing started with a simple desire to process. After the most intense period of teaching in my life, I began to write my memories, feelings, impressions, lessons . . . and before you know it, it was starting to look and feel like a book. I was a writer! Creative non-fiction, mostly. Ways to process my own experience and clarify for myself, who I am and where I fit into the grand scheme. E.M Forster summed it up for me: How can I tell what I think until I see what I say?
Slowly, my words wandered toward fiction.
My fictional characters have taught me as much about my life as the real people in it. Every time I bring one of the voices in my head to life (I heard it, you know what I mean), that new character has a little of me somewhere in them. Yes, even the villains. Definitely the villains.
Every character is a chance to take a close look at that fascinating connection between experience, thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.
I think it is safe to say that I have learned something about myself through almost every piece of writing I've done. I don't think that is every writer's experience, but it is mine. Writing is my Sociology, Psychology, and Theology studies, all in one.
And speaking of Theology, that leads me to the Big Question: Why Are We Here?
The best answer I can find for that age-old question comes from the Dalai Lama: We are here to be happy. I don't think he's talking about the "happy" we're being sold by North American culture; the one that's all about "fun." I think he's talking about real joy.
I'm all in for that.
Visualize a world where everyone is happy. Content. Satisfied with what they have. Full of love. Can you see that world? It's so different from the mess we've made.
So, next question: Is it possible to be truly happy if you don't know yourself? If you don't understand yourself?
I'm thinking . . . nope.
So, if I want to change the world, I must be happy. If I want to be happy, I must understand myself. To understand myself — and this is just MY way — I must write.
Why do I write?
Because I must.