Hilary Pickles: February 2013 Writing Challenge Winner

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I made a man cry … at 7 years old

It’s true: I made a man cry when I was 7. My written words had moved him to tears. And I felt powerful. But my power felt uncertain at the time. Not good or bad, just uncertain. You see, I hadn’t done anything prodigious like compose a novel about the Reagan Administration; I had merely written a short story about a girl and her horse for my second grade writing assignment … all hand-bound and illustrated by me as well. And my mom and dad were to be my first readers.

I was embarrassed to let my parents read my story because it was the first time I can remember creating something personal and lending it to the world for judgment. I remember my cheeks burning while I waited for them to finish my modest book. What if they laughed at me? What if they didn’t like it? What if? What if? What if?

What if I hadn’t let them read it? The answer is: I wouldn’t have witnessed my creative power glistening beneath my father’s eyes, and I might not have spent the rest of my young life pursuing anything and everything that elicited that inspired power.

Now I must be clear that I have not spent the last 25 years searching for this “power” through writing. I haven’t dedicated myself to daily writing and perfecting the art of the written word like the great literary giants. I have studied and practiced several different art forms like acting and singing and visual artistry, and found success along the way … with a dose of world judgment on the side. But through every experience, I always found myself thinking, “Maybe I should write about that” or “I should write a book about that” or “that would make a great blog or column.” I couldn’t seem to get writing off the brain!

And observing my creative life from where I stand right now … on the threshold of a career in copywriting … I can see that my inner writer has been championing my impending success every step of the way. I always saw myself changing the world somehow … helping people make better decisions … fighting for animal rights … inspiring people through art. And from where I stand right now … on the threshold of a career in copywriting … I know that all of these things will be possible through a Barefoot Writer’s life.

And this journey started when I experienced the power of my own written words. At 7 years old.

When I made a man cry.

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