Barb Godin hasn’t had much time for hand-wringing during the pandemic. The restrictions that have curtailed activities for many of us gave Godin the opportunity to realize her dream of publishing a book. And then another, and another!
In early 2020, Godin published her first book, Dear Barb: Answers to Your Everyday Questions, a selection of Godin’s “Dear Barb” advice columns from The Voice magazine. (See August 14, 2020 Voice article Dear Barb Continues Advice Tradition in Book Format.) She followed that up with Glimpses in Time: A Collection of Memoirs and More in early 2021. (See March 26, 2021 Voice article Glimpses of Barb Godin—A Book Review.)
Dear Barb 2: Advice for Daily Life, Godin’s third book, was released in September 2021. A follow-up to her earlier Dear Barb book, Dear Barb 2 contains a new collection of Godin’s popular advice column.
Dear Barb 2 offers advice on such matters as family, dating, marriage, parenting, friends and neighbours, and etiquette. The issues cover current real-world problems, and a whole section is devoted to answering questions relating to the pandemic and its challenges. Through it all, Godin provides thoughtful balanced answers, and often encourages people to see the issue from both sides.
“I try to advise people to see the situation from the other person’s point of view, and often they come to realize the person’s intent was not what they perceived it to be,” says Godin. “I feel through my many life experiences I have learned that forgiveness is vital to all relationships. Within my own family, I have experienced what hate can do and it isn’t any good for either party.”
Godin has been writing the “Dear Barb” advice column for over twenty years. She began the column after learning The Voice was seeking an advice columnist, when the previous columnist retired. Godin sent in a sample column and has since published over 500 “Dear Barb” columns.
Besides her regular advice column, Godin has contributed several articles to The Voice. Many pieces Godin writes give glimpses of her troubled upbringing and family frictions. One article, “Mary’s Story“, went on to win Best Short Article in the Professional Writers Association of Canada‘s 2019 writing awards.
Godin’s second book, Glimpses in Time, contains a selection of those personal articles, along with some previously unpublished stories. She is currently working on a fourth book, Can I Come Home Now, a memoir which, Godin says, “brings all the stories in Glimpses in Time together.” Godin wrote the manuscript for Can I Come Home Now over twenty years ago, and is currently reworking it. She hopes to publish it in 2022.
“I have always wanted to write my story,” Godin says. “I kept journals through most of my life and wrote my way through many traumas, so it was just a matter of when I would write my book. In the early eighties I sent my manuscript to a few publishers and, while I received positive feedback, no one was interested in publishing it. I put my book away and began working on my degree.”
While pursuing her BA degree at AU, Godin honed her writing skills by writing for The Voice magazine. Godin graduated in 2008.
“Through writing for The Voice,” Godin says, “I discovered that people actually want to read what I write. Karl [The Voice‘s editor, Karl Low] was a positive influence in his analysis of my personal stories. I still get comments on my columns and stories that have been published in The Voice, so it has been, and continues to be, a positive writing experience for me.”
Dear Barb 2: Advice for Daily Life is available in paperback and ebook formats. More information on Barbara Godin and her latest book is available on Godin’s website at www.barbgodin.com.