First of all, just to be clear, I never get out of the house. I’m a hermit, a home-body. I’m borderline agoraphobic. I’m a writer for cryin’ out loud.
So it was kind of a big deal for me to take on a three hour road-trip all the way from Detroit to Cleveland last Friday. I went to see Austin Kleon promoting his new book ‘Keep Going.’ at the Parma-Snow Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
This was my first time at an author presentation and didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been around famous actors and rock stars, I know how to deal with them and their egos. But an author – this was different for me. It was more subdued, a different vibe that I need to figure out through regular exposure.
The talk itself was amazing, of course. Austin reiterated key points from the book which further engrained them in my mind. My favorite was the idea that when you feel bogged down or stuck in your craft, make gifts to get yourself unstuck. I love that idea. Then he took questions from the audience. Everyone was engaged, and there were many excellent questions.
My biggest takeaway from the event was I wish I was ‘hungrier.’ I sat there during the presentation and the Q&A, just waiting for inspiration to come to me, rather than getting involved and trying to reach out for the inspiration, as I should have. I should have had questions prepared, I should have been more eager, I shouldn’t have babbled like an incoherent groupie when I actually got my books signed (oh, it was terrible. You should have heard me – it was so embarrassing).
Some of the things I’m going to do different now will be, 1) Go for walks more with the dogs. I don’t do it every day, and I need to for my creative and physical health. 2) Get back to drawing more. I have a lot of emotional scars centered around my drawing, but I’m going to try to ignore all that and just draw for the sake of drawing. ‘Be the verb’ as Austin puts it. Maybe I can find something in it that I lost. 3) Seek out connections with the authors of the books that I enjoy. I realize now there are real people on the other side of these books and I want to get to know them! I want to be more engaged with other writers and in doing so, become a better writer myself.
Overall, I had a fantastic time. I learned a lot about myself as a writer and how I want to proceed in my ‘career.’ I learned how much I really love what I do, and what I’m willing to go through to do it. Writing is my passion, and I’m going to continue to nurture that passion for as long as I can, come what may.
Have you ever met a person who creatively inspired you? What was that meeting like? Let us know if you were nervous or just casual in the comments below.