Another Northern Colorado Writers Conference has come and gone, and with it came a plethora of new material which I will spend the following weeks and months digesting and utilizing to refine my writing. I want to thank all of the folks who presented workshops during the two day conference, and apologize for seemingly dozing off. It wasn't you - it was the mix of starches, changes in room temperature, and the amount of knowledge stuffing my brain.
While I learned quite a bit at the NCW Conference, what really stuck with me were two inspirational moments from the keynote dinner. The first came from 11th grader Alice Kilduff, the 2013 Colorado Poetry Out Loud Champion. Winner of a state sailing championship, maker of her own clothes, discoverer of a parallel universe - okay, I made the last one up - Alice impressed the audience with some astounding poetry readings.
The second moment of inspiration came from keynote speaker Andrew McCarthy. Actor, travel writer, discoverer of an adjacent universe, Andrew wowed the audience with a tale of how he united with himself and the world on a walk across Spain's Camino de Santiago. Not only was his speech spellbinding, but it was full of wisdom, particularly at the end when he compared creativity to something growing in nature. To paraphrase - like a plant, creativity needs to be nurtured. If neglected, it will wither on its vine.
As someone in his mid-40s - which is the new five or six, if I'm not mistaken - who let his creativity lay fallow for many years due to fear, the combination of words between Alice and Andrew struck me between the eyes. Whether its been to other writers or my children, I've imparted the same advice to them on numerous occasionDuck Dynasty rather than fulfilling your dreams, let me impart the same advice on your posteriors.
s because I feel it's important not just for their personal well-being, but for the world as a whole. Now, for those of you watching
You live one life on this world - maximize it to the best of your ability. Don't wait until after college, or after your married, or after your children are grown, or after the heart monitor stops beating to pursue your dreams and goals. Take whatever means necessary, save for selling your family on eBay, to make it happen. And, like 11th grader Alice Kilduff, start early, because you never know when your dreams will come true.
Now, stop reading this and water those vines of creativity sprouting in your head.
What advice would you give to others about nurturing their creativity?