Passion, Persistence & Problem Solving – A pep talk from children’s author, Jo Carson-Barr

I met Jo Carson-Barr at a seminar by Joanna Penn at the end of 2014, just before my very first book release. As I’ve grown to know her, I’ve come to have a deep respect for her positive energy, kindness, and creative spirit. So much so, in fact, that she’s featured in the second edition of the (w0)manpower zine. We’re also working together on the NZ Book Festival committee, and Jo continues to inspire me with her can-do attitude. Here, she talks about some of her most recent learning.

Concentrate on your strengths and not your weaknesses.

This is the mantra on a course I am attending at the moment. It is great advice, sounds so easy, is incredibly difficult, but once mastered would be life changing. We are quick to see the giftedness in others and slow to see out own.

As authors, publishers and marketers what are our strengths? Well I think we need the three P’s plus others: Passion, Persistence, Problem solving.


A passion to write. An author on facebook said: “If I don’t write, I feel as if my life is being drained out of me.” We also need a passion to see our book in print and for people to own a copy (publishing and marketing).


To keep at it, no matter what the cost, when you feel like quitting; to stand firm.

Problem Solving

An ability to learn new skills… an openness to new ideas… different ways of viewing the problem; there is always another way.

Strengths, not weaknesses

So how am I going about focusing on my strengths and not my weaknesses? I am back to my old favourite, ONE DAY AT A TIME. Each day brings new challenges, new opportunities and a new start. I am looking at replacing destructive habits with life giving habits, one habit at a time. Repeat, repeat, repeat until it becomes my new default.

I have had a resistance to getting my mailing list typed up and any excuse at all will see me not doing it. I’m not really sure why, as it is crucial to the sales of my next boo, but because I want to be accountable… I am sharing with you my new habit…one hour of mailing list data entry each morning before looking at my emails and Facebook and I am pleased to say that like Edmund Hilary I am knocking the “bugger off” and when I have finally achieved it, I will let you all know.


Jo Carson-Barr, author of The GoodBye Chair

A gorgeous story about a cute (and rather cheeky) boy, Nicholas. As a teacher, I appreciate that counting is woven into the narrative, rather than the whole book being built around numbers.
The author has also brought our two other official languages – Maori & NZ Sign Language – into the ending with ease.
I highly recommend this book, especially in an educational setting. – Zee’s review 🙂

One Response to “Passion, Persistence & Problem Solving – A pep talk from children’s author, Jo Carson-Barr

  • Well said Jo – I focus on my strengths as I know that is where I am getting results. But must say I intend to improve where I am not so good. Keep writing and producing more great stories like THE GOODBYE CHAIR!

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