With 2011 at a close, there’s one thing that’s been on my mind: a red, concrete brick.
Let me explain.
There was a study that asked two groups of people to write down as many uses for a brick they could think of in ten minutes. Group A wrote down enough to cover half a page: build a house, use as a doorstop, etc. Group B on the other hand couldn’t stop writing. They filled pages and pages. In addition to all the ones Group A had, Group B’s list of brick uses included indestructible Lego, a good trade for two half-bricks, a patch for brick colored objects with brick shaped holes in them, etc.
What was the difference? Why did Group B think of so many more ideas than Group A? Was it due to socioeconomic differences? Not really. Level of education? Possibly.
Group A was a group of 30somthing year old working professionals.
Group B was a group of first graders.
Pablo Picasso explained it best when he said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Somehow, someway that brick combined with the right mix of curiosity and creativity led to something special. And for the past five years, The Writer’s Den has given students a place to keep that creative spark going, to plunge into creative writing on their way to becoming novelists and poets, lovers and adventurers, kings and peasants, three-eyed aliens from distant planets to tiny reincarnated fish in big oceans…anything that could stir the creative genius in us all, even if it means the occasional use of androgynous mad scientists or running non-sequiturs, because this is creative writing and rules don’t apply.
While The Writer’s Den has done a lot of growing up this past year – jumping from ten to over forty members, working with one middle school class to two, gaining more and more campus support – our goal has stayed the same, to simply provide people a chance to explore themselves, their hearts and their minds, through writing and find their own magic brick.
We’ve come a long way, but there’s still much more to do.
Join us and become a part of the story.