Success Comes In Many Different Forms
Posted by Literary Titan
The Golden Ticket is a memoir told from the perspective of answering college essay prompts. This approach ties into your background and career path, presenting your story in a unique fashion. Why was it important to tell your story?
I wrote The Golden Ticket because I wanted to address the disconnect—chasm, really— between my professional life and my home life.
At work, I counseled students on how to tell their best story and to gain admission to some of the most selective colleges in the world; at home, my husband and I were struggling to raise three children with developmental delays, depression, anxiety, and learning differences.
In Palo Alto, where we live, everyone talks about getting into college (and not just any college, but the good kind), which doesn’t leave much room for conversations about kids who aren’t ready for college, or don’t want to go, or might be struggling with challenges that go beyond deciding which top 20 school they’ll apply to.
In telling both parts of my story, I wanted to provide a larger context for what Frank Bruni calls “Yale or jail” thinking about success—and to open a broader conversation about what it means to be successful or to lead a meaningful life. Not every success story ends with the name of a prestigious college on the back of a late-model luxury car.
I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?
By far the most difficult thing was describing the struggles each of my children faced. There is nothing more painful than being a parent and feeling powerless to address the challenges your children are facing. Revisiting those moments was agonizing, but I also felt strongly that chronicling what we went through as a family would help other families feel recognized and less alone.
What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?
One of my improv teachers often told me to “say the thing.” I have a tendency to tiptoe around whatever my character’s motivation or thinking might be, and he always encouraged me to just blurt it out. I now have a ring engraved with the words “say the thing” as a reminder.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?
That success comes in many different forms at different stages of your life—and that there is, in fact, no golden ticket.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Posted on May 21, 2023, in Interviews and tagged author, author interview, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, indie author, Irena Smith, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, The Golden Ticket, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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