Writers’ block, which for years I insisted did not exist, has swallowed me whole. In an effort to escape the belly of this cold beast, I volunteered to teach a ten-week writing course at the local senior center. I do, after all, have seven books published. I may not feel like a writer at this moment, but damnit, I AM a writer.
Maybe acting like one, owning that peculiar malady in the presence of a classroom of people would inspire me to fight my way up out of the depths and back into the light of creativity.
The truth is I love speaking to people, adore teaching, feed on the energy that leaps back-and-forth in a classroom. When I marched into the director’s office, handed her copies of my books for the senior center library and offered to teach a class, it was a blatant attempt to recharge my own creativity by teaching a group of eager students. My idea was to create a group of supportive writers whose power would explode exponentially. I was looking to split the creative atom.
Yesterday was our fourth class. Twenty ordinary people ranging in age from about sixty to ninety. Men and women I’d pass on the street with a smile and a nod and not give a second thought.
That would be my grievous loss.
Their first assignment was to write their obituary.
Hearing their unique tales, peeking into minds and hearts and souls honed by decades of joys and suffering and, well, of living, is a privilege for which I am thankful, a responsibility I do not take lightly.
This group of ordinary people fills the room to the brim with the creative equivalent of yellow-cake uranium. The reaction is building. If you’re in Eureka, anywhere near California and West DelNorte Streets, you may see the mushroom cloud. It’s filled with hopes and dreams and an abundance of talent. Already the glorious fallout has drifted into my own open mind.
My butt’s in a chair, fingers on the keyboard.
I’ll keep you posted.