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An Invitation to be Your Best

Author R. Frederick Riddle

This is an invitation to be your best in whatever you do, but especially as a writer. In past blogs and posts, I have talked about the School of Hard Knocks. We begin by learning about it.

School of Hard Knocks is Not Your Best

To begin with it is a different school for each person. Something like a college offering different degrees in a variety of studies. This school offers a different pathway for every student. These paths are different yet the same. They all promise much but rarely deliver. It certainly is not your best experience or result.

My Journey to be Your Best Through the School of Hard Knocks Begins

In 1968, I returned home from the Navy after serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War. I immediately sought a job and was hired by Western Electric, a subsidiary of AT&T, as an installer. My job was too either install or remove phone equipment in the AT&T buildings.

Aside from my job, it was also a time that I decided to pursue a writing career. I had wanted to write since my teen years and still wanted that elusive dream.

I received a invitation to join a Writers course that was associated with a group of famous writers. I took their entrance test which was a ridiculously easy test, passed it, and joined.

But, alas, it was shortly thereafter that I was laid off at Western Electric. This was about 1972. When I returned to work, it was to Michigan Bell, also part of AT&T. During the time I was laid off, I had no income, was forced to drop the writing course, lost my entire savings, and lived for a week on nothing but peanut butter.

Though I was no longer in the writing course, I was accepted into the school of hard knocks. This school has no brick-and-mortar buildings, no campus, no real teachers, no curriculum, and no rewards. Most of all, it had no guarantees.

The School of Hard Knocks Wasn’t My Best

Since there were no teachers or classrooms or class assignments, I was on my own. I started by visiting local libraries and reading everything I could find about writing. Also, I started writing my first manuscript!

That was exciting, until I got to the 5th chapter and hit the Wall! The Writers Wall is just as real as a wall made of stone. It stopped me cold. I didn’t know how to handle it. In the end I tossed the manuscript into the trash.

It quickly became a trap and a source of frustration. I would get a little way into the story and hit a wall. Then the manuscript would eventually end up in a trash can.

I was miserable! Then in 1973, I met Jesus Christ and He became my Savior. This rejuvenated my life on so many levels, but while my life changed and I became a better person learning to walk with God and serve Him, my writing career was as still as ever.

The School of Hard Knocks Changed

I began reading and writing poetry. Not great poetry, mind you. But it captured the heart of a young lady and played a role in her becoming my wife. We met in January 1981 and were married in September of the same year! So, Poetry was a success.

More importantly it helped get started a loving marriage that lasted over 41 years! But my writing continued to fail. Then, in 2000 everything changed!

More on this subject in An Invitation To Be Your Best part 2.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

Basic Authors Training is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Each class registration occurs between the 25th  of a month and runs through the 24th of the following month. The new class starts the following month.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at We will respond.

Did God call you to write? If so, then you can contact me at or use the contact form on the website.


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Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Christian Fund, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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