I’m afraid the reason is totally selfish. As an adult in my middle age, I look to what's going to benefit me in my old age. Some would say money is the most important thing. Yeah... not so much. What's really going to benefit me the most is being surrounded by creative, educated, and compassionate people. And how do you achieve that? You put your time and energy into encouraging, and being an example of those values.
The last thing I, or anyone else wants, is an uneducated, unfeeling, and boring people. When I have been given an opportunity to speak with students, I see exuberance and hopefulness. They are already creative and willing to learn. Anything I can do to cultivate and nourish them, is pure joy to me.
I especially like to show kids the self sufficient aspects of do it yourself writing and publishing. Today they have access to platforms that allow them to share their work that I could only dream of as a kid. And not just writing either, we’re talking music, and visual arts too. I believe being able to do it themselves grows self awareness and self confidence. The use of platforms like Create space, and Kindle Direct Publishing, have given me the ability to bring my novel to life. I would not have flourished in the traditional writing paths. I was not planted where I would succeed in that world. I want kids who may have been planted in similar soil as me, to take advantage of these types of resources.
Creative writing is an excellent way for kids to express themselves and grow. Participating in the arts in any form builds confidence. I believe learning to allow themselves to be creative, will make my, and all our lives better. Social pressures from peers and society often squelch self expression. Wether intentional or not, we don't want to force kids into the same old square hole. This is why I also encourage them to seek out sources of inspiration. One cannot find inspiration from the confines of four walls and a cable TV connection. To fill their books with great content, they must first fill their lives with great content.
I will quote from, Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
If kids are not shown the broader world, our society shrinks and becomes small little walled enclaves. This is definitely not going to improve my golden years. I fear wasting away in ambivalence more than all else. Without vibrant people in the world, I cannot live a vibrant life.
Just as I like to promote creative writing to students, I’d like to promote to anyone who has an opportunity to encourage and expose kids to new experiences; please step up and share. It’s not only the morel thing to do, it’s going to make your life better too. A win win as it were. To enjoy the lives we would like ourselves, we must help the youth of today to learn, create, express, and fly.
Mark Evans © 2016