The day has finally arrived, ladies and gentlemen: the day that Heidi Durrow speaks about her book and writing process to hundreds upon hundreds of participants in the Everybody Reads program. What’s that you say? The event has already passed? Ah, my literary friends, I beg to differ. Heidi’s presentation may have ended, but the conversation she has inspired has only just begun.
There was something for every sort of person at the Schnitz tonight. Heidi managed to touch on subjects that readers, writers, creative spirits, geeky spirits (yes, she did indeed bust out a Spock analogy), and people of all sorts of racial or socioeconomic backgrounds could identify with. In describing her own process of writing The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, Heidi demonstrated the intensely personal nature of creativity. There was no way to disentangle her own background and experiences, no matter how small they may have seemed, from the specific act of sitting down and putting pen to paper and mind to matter. In fact, the majority of her presentation dealt with where she came from not only as a writer but more importantly as a person.
The peak of the night came at Heidi’s plea for artists to use their creativity to form a strong, supportive, and inspiring connection with their readers or other audiences. She spoke directly to the anonymous girl upon whom she based her story, expressing the love both she and readers of her book have for her. Even without the build-up of emotional connections with the creative process that the rest of the talk introduced, this specific moment of utter honesty and raw emotion was enough to speak to the heart of anyone in the audience–definitely to myself, anyway!
All that said, we do not want to end the conversation here! Please don’t be afraid to contribute what you got from the presentation in the comment thread for this or any other post on our blog. Heidi has shared with us what it means to be an artist and to inspire others to inspire others and so forth–so pass on the baton! Start building your emotional connections with others in our reading community! We’d love to hear from you. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- How do you identify with the themes Heidi discussed today?
- Would you consider yourself a reader (what Heidi described as a “wisher”) or a writer? Or both?
- What are some ways in which you can exemplify the creative process in everyday life? After all, you don’t have to be a professional writer or other sort of artist in order to inspire others!
- What role has your own personal background played in your ability to connect with others through literature or the creative process?
- What part of today’s talk most resonated with you?
- How would you like to give back to the community–literary or otherwise–after listening to Heidi speak?
- Anything goes! What is your original, organic (Heidi used that word a lot!) response to anything she said, anything the book dealt with, or anything you even thought at any point throughout this program?
- Tell us your story. Seriously. We have no guidelines. We just want to hear from you!