Meet young author Signe Rain Boutch. Before graduating high school, Signe wrote Josephine’s First Day of School, proving anyone at any age can change the world by writing. She was gracious enough to answer some questions we had about her upcoming publication.
Hello, Signe! Thank you so much for answering a few questions for us. We are excited to learn more about you and your book. Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I am a military wife and currently stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I have two boys, the youngest is almost two and oldest is five, and a third boy on the way. I don’t need a gym membership because they keep me running around 24-7. I enjoy good cups of coffee and evening walks with my family.
I find writing to be my favorite form of communication. It allows me to think before I speak, and as much as I love to chat, I feel that what needs to be said is sometimes much better communicated on paper!
Absolutely! Words have such power, both in writing and in speaking. We use them almost constantly, calling, texting, posting on social media. Words can have a huge impact on our day or someone else’s both emotionally and mentally.
You wrote a book about kindness when you were in high school and included a list of 25 ways others can be nice. Obviously, words and kindness go hand in hand. What inspired you to encourage others to bring more kindness into the world?
It was actually a class project given to me by my favorite English teacher. I took it on with much enthusiasm and used it as an opportunity to write about themes that weighed heavily on my mind during that time in my life. I was bullied more often than not, and the importance of kindness and instilling it in youth has become very important to me. Kindness is more often modeled than taught, but I was hoping this book could offer a creative example of compassion in students, and so I listed some ways in the book to do that, because sometimes it helps to have a list! I know in my house it does!
Why do you think it’s so difficult for others to be kind? Do you think there is a real lack of understanding today about how treating others well also gives happiness to the person being kind?
Absolutely. I think we live in a world where kindness is often taken advantage of. Therefore, we put up a guard to protect ourselves, sometimes not even realizing it. We begin thinking about ourselves more than those around us, and when your focus is self–it’s hard to pour into the lives of others. I understand why–it’s human nature to protect ourselves and sometimes that’s the easiest way. However, we forget that it truly is more of a blessing to give than receive.
I think the more we step out and make thoughtful gestures, give of ourselves, and show kindness–the more that selfishness will fall off us. Yes, there will be people who take advantage of kindness, but when it comes down to it, we have to change our mindset and treat those around us the way we would want to be treated, going the extra mile to show love and generosity. You will end up a happier person, I can promise that.
You’ve already written one book, any plans for others? What’s next for you?
I thoroughly enjoy writing, but I’m not sure another children’s book is on the horizon for me. I would love to be able to market the book, and use the opportunity to talk to school age children about the importance of kindness–especially at an early age because they’re so easily influenced, and sometimes small things can make such a huge impact.
You can’t change anyone, but you can certainly influence them. My first priority is my own home and right now that occupies most of my time–but someday I would love to be able to speak to others, and use my book as a stepping stone to do that.
I love that! Inspiring children of today and by setting good examples for them is incredibly important. What can you tell young readers and aspiring writers about reaching for their dreams, despite obstacles they might face?
Life is absolutely what you make it. There are some really tough situations that people are born into. Privilege is not given to everyone, but despite our privilege every single person has a will. You have to make up your mind that no matter the obstacles that you face, you will keep trying, you will get up, and you will overcome. I have known people, that despite horrible situations, became successful and I’ve known people to have it all, but waste it.
Your mind is so much stronger than you may know. Your existence is a miracle and a wonder. We are beautifully and creatively designed. Your future is heavily determined by your fight. Keep being thankful, keep being honest, and don’t set limits on your potential.