Photos: Boy with guitar from freeimages.com;
Grandma Moses from http://www.notablebiographies.com/Mo-Ni/Moses-Grandma.html
One can be creative at any age. Sometimes creativity gets sparked in childhood and takes hold as a vocation early in life. Other times, it sparks in childhood, but takes hold later in life as either a vocation or an avocation.
What sparked the idea for this blog was a rock station on my radio. When I’m driving around, I listen to WDHA-FM (105.5). From my teens on up, I have loved rock. When I hit my 50s, I developed a fondness for punk, “hard rock,” and metal. Maybe it’s my second childhood. Maybe not. I tell the teenagers I work with that when I hit my 70s and 80s, I’m going to add hip hop and rap to my listening habits. They laugh at me, but I just might be serious.
Anyway, yesterday morning on WDHA’s show, the Morning Jolt, host Jim Monahan interviewed Brad Arnold of the band 3 Doors Down. Arnold was talking about how he wrote probably half of the band’s first album during his high school algebra class. You see, Arnold had a creative writing class, then would have lunch break which rested his brain (and filled his tummy). By the time he got to his next class, algebra, he was inspired and in a creative mode, so much so that he scribbled lyrics while he sat in class. I’m guessing this probably was not good for his algebra grade, but it was very good for his band!
Monahan and Arnold then went on to talk about how many musicians began their artistic journeys when they were teenagers, or younger. If you’re interested in hearing the whole interview, please go to the “Brad Arnold on the Morning Jolt” post at http://wdhafm.com/2018/04/05/brad-arnold-morning-jolt/
Their conversation made me wonder how many other people found their creative muse in their childhood or teens. Even though I didn’t publish a novel until I was in my late 50s, I clearly remember telling stories to other kids when I was in first grade. When I was in late 2nd or early 3rd grade, I realized that I could write a story down on paper. And I did it (in pencil on lined paper), illustrated it, and dreamed of someday seeing something I’d written in print.
In my teens I wrote stories about my favorite band, the Beatles. The first “novel” I ever wrote borrowed from the TV spy show, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, with a humorous twist borrowed from the TV spy spoof, “Get Smart.” My story was about a group of teens involved in a spy outfit called “U.M.” (United Minors). And, of course, it had an all-star pop music cast, accompanied by my best friends.
I figure that I’ve been writing most of my life. Although I tried to get publishers’ attention for several books I wrote my 20s and 30s, it never happened, and I had to wait until later in life to publish once it was possible to be an indie author.
My late public start doesn’t bother me, though. I probably needed all that time. I’m a late bloomer. And tucked away in the back of my mind was the story my Mom told me about the rural, primitive painter known as “Grandma Moses” (real name Anna Mary Robertson Moses). Grandma Moses’s story told me that it was all right to start later in life.
You see, Grandma Moses had created art all her life, but she did not start to paint with any degree of seriousness until she was 78 years old. That’s right, 78! And she lived to be 101. So, take heart, all ye oldsters! You ain’t finished yet.
Now… what about you? Are you an artist? A musician? A fiction or non-fiction writer? Do you keep a journal, like my character Maggie? Do you like sculpting? What about dance? Photography? Creative ventures on computers? Any other creative pursuits?
Think about it. Go back in time. When did you start doing what you do, even if you haven’t gone public or may never go public with it?
I’m curious because I wonder if perhaps we aren’t born with the urge to create
This could be a group participation blog, if you’d like. You’re welcome to share when you started your artistic journey. Leave it as a comment! Our stories are important. And it’s good to share them.
Because you never know when your story might inspire someone else.
Janet Stafford, Squeaking Pips Founder