Colorado native Deanna Johnson knows the challenges of single-parenthood during the holiday season very well - she’s been a single parent for almost 30 years, with two adult daughters and four …
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Colorado native Deanna Johnson knows the challenges of single-parenthood during the holiday season very well - she’s been a single parent for almost 30 years, with two adult daughters and four grandchildren. But she also knows the beauty the time of year offers for those who are open to it.
Now Johnson is sharing that knowledge in her new book, “A Single Parent’s Guide to Enjoying the Holidays,” published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. The book is designed to be a self-help guide to help single parents approach and enjoy the holiday season.
“As an African American woman, it is easy to think of myself as a statistic or listen to others describe what may or should be my circumstances,” Johnson said. “I believe in the power of positive thinking, and the focus on domestic happiness and health were my best tools.”
Colorado Community Media spoke with Johnson about her inspiration, the writing process and what she hopes readers take from the book.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing professionally for more than 20 years, but my best training was acquired at the kitchen table as a child, under the instruction of my father.
My experience as an author of information and publications about minority populations and health disparities is extensive. As a professional grant manager, I discovered that `painting the picture’ of what low-socioeconomic individuals experience and describing the needs was critical. When reports, real stories and statistics are available, it is easier to obtain funding and support for low-socioeconomic and minority groups.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have noticed that single parents are socially marketed as fragile people, always needing help and in situations that are unimaginable to others. Society makes it sound like the single-parent home is the least favorable domestic structure. As it is challenging to raise children alone, it is best to ignore the negative stigmas. I want single parents to design the structure and circumstance of their households, and no matter what the immediate circumstance is, reject ideas that can bring them down.
My goal is to encourage all single parents to seek positivity, and as awkward as it seems, put themselves first, as hard as it may be.
What was the writing process like?
I wrote the book content over the course of two years. I was cautious in approaching a publisher. As a new author, I needed to be well organized before selecting a publishing company. I made sure that my content and plans for the book were ready and well-organized before I proposed the manuscript to Dorrance.
I searched for a publishing company that would embrace my message of positivity and effort to improve the lives of single parents. The Dorrance Publishing Company not only comprehended the message I was trying to communicate, they helped me frame it for the single parent population.
From your experiences, what makes being a single parent during the holidays beautiful?
As difficult as it is, there is beauty that other families don’t get to experience in the same capacity. As a single parent, I could appreciate the time and little things so much more and discovered that my children did, too.
I have discovered that changing your personal outlook on the holiday responsibility, and providing allowances for yourself to seek happiness, make a big difference. The single parent has unadulterated time to take part in each day, be intentional in the mission to secure personal and domestic wellness, and a chance to enhance the New Year with hopefulness.
What do you hope readers come away with?
I am hoping that readers are single parents and those that love and support them. I want to inspire single parents to take steps during the months of November through January to make the holiday an enjoyable time, and address a difficult season head-on with organization, power and positivity.
“A Single Parent's Guide to Enjoying the Holidays” can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and www.bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com.
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