The other day, my girls and I were at the craft store for a ceramics class. We met a delightful little lady named Linda, and chatted with her about life on Hawaii (she was raised here), crafts, and painting. I moved to get out of her way as she was gathering up her paints. I asked if she worked there, and she said,
"Oh no, I just come in from time to time to volunteer and I love to be around the young ones. I'm 81 years old, you know."
No! I didn't know--and she was so spry and vibrant, I'd have never guessed her age. I absolutely loved her spirit, her desire to be around other people, and to continue learning new art techniques. Grace and I talked about her on the way home, how delightful she was and what a great example of living life.
One of the most important things I've discovered as an adult is to keep on learning, to continue discovering, to nurture that sense of wonder and excitement about life. There is always something new to learn, and we have never 'arrived'. I never want to feel that life is dull or that I am just marking time. Like Julia Childin the movie Julie and Julia almost bounding out of bed each morning because she cannot wait to see what the day holds.
So even though I'm "old" and probably should know what I want to be when I grow up, I am having a great time exploring some writing courses to improve my skills, and decided to jump into this one: CBI Clubhouse Challenge
I have hopes that it will help me decide whether writing for children is something I wish to pursue or not. The Christian Writers' Guild also has courses that are highly recommended, though a bit pricier.
I also found this great little gem by Maeve Binchy, called The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club.
Over the years, I've enjoyed her writing 'voice', and though her worldview is decidedly different than mine (so don't blame me if you get one of her novels and don't like the content), she is marvelous at character development and dialogue. I can definitely recommend the Writers' Club book for writing instruction.
My favorite quotes so far:
"I wish that hope stays with you always. It is what will eventually draw out of you the book, the stories, the writing that are in there waiting to be released."
"The idea is to take the terror out of writing, to empower ourselves with the belief that we are as good as anyone else, with as much to say as the next person. The only thing that stands in our way is not saying it."
"I hope that you think it was all worth it and that you will never be among those who say that you could have written only if you had had the chance."
I'm constantly amazed how creative human beings are, but I shouldn't be. I believe the desire for beauty is a God-given gift, or why else would He take so much time creating beautiful flowers, sunsets, and babies? Weare also given the gift of creating in our own little sphere, and it is such an incredible privilege to be a part of that.
So whether your dream is writing for yourself or for another publication... to create art or a beautiful home space (which can be one and the same), I hope that fear will not disable you. Have fun creating in your corner of the world!