October 9, 2009
The Face of the Future
It's not often you get to have an up-close look at the face of the future, but I just did. I held one of my Big Pencil Writing Workshops at Gallopade. It was late in the day so that school and homeschool students could attend after their busy day of studies. About 15 bright and smiling faces paraded into our New Product Development's Writing Studio. Our session was called, "Can I write for Disney one day, Ms. Marsh?" It had nothing to do with Disney; it had everything to do with good writing as a lifetime essential skill, and "wow!" writing as the key to a possible career in almost any field they chose. I started by showing them a roll of toilet paper. [You had to be there!] The children, in ages from about 9-14, boys and girls, were so quiet, so polite, so attentive, so focused that I worried: Are they tired? Bored? Intimidated? It was none of those things. THEY WERE BRIGHT! They were interested and interesting, engaged, smart, savvy, talented, charming, mature, and did I say smart?! It was a wonderful thing to see their enthusiasm, their sincerity, their uncanny ability to grasp concepts and nuances in my usual rapid-fire delivery of all things key to good writing. Their questions were remarkable; their input delightful. I felt like a kid! I forgot they were kids! For an hour and a half it was just fellow writers, eager to improve skills, share, learn, and explore the wonder of turning what's in your head and your heart into words on a printed page. Words to share, to achieve goals, to entertain, educate, amuse...change the world. You can sleep well, tonight folks, the future is in good hands. At one point, I said jokingly: "Ok, you're all hired!" And one young man replied, "I'll be here in the morning." He was serious. These "best and brightest" are eager to engage the world. They are gunnin' for serious bear. They may not all grow up to be writers, in the traditional sense, but I guarantee they will be world-changers and will use all their many skills to make it a better place. Oh, yeah, did I say they were smart? And sweet, kind, generous, funny.... I really would like to see some of them in the morning! And kudos to their parents for all they do to keep these future leaders learning at a pace and level suitable to their child's needs. It was a good night! [For more info on future workshops, go to www.bigpencilwritingworkshops.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the big pencil email list.