Monday, May 18, 2015

Never Stop Learning (Alissa Grosso)

A couple of years ago I was at a book festival. The author seated at the table next to me had some fliers for a writing conference that he had helped to organize and was passing them out to authors at the festival. So, when another author stopped at his table handing out postcards about the book he was selling my neighbor game him a flier about the conference. To which the other author somewhat rudely explained that he had no use for writing conferences, as he already knew everything he needed to know. When the postcard author was a few tables down, my neighbor turned to me and said that if he ever got to the point where he felt he could no longer learn anything, he hoped that somebody would be kind enough to put him out of his misery.

There's all sorts of evidence to suggest that learning new things is actually good for you, and keeps one's mind from rotting away. When I look around me I see a lot of people who are keeping their minds fresh by learning all sorts of things.

My father is well into his sixties and is teaching himself to play the guitar, and is working on producing a regular weekly podcast.

My once techno-phobic mother is now addicted to her iPhone and posts an impressive number of pictures on Facebook every day.

My boyfriend has been a musician since about the time he could walk, but now has taught himself how to produce elaborate songs digitally, all without playing a single, actual instrument.

My sister who has always been creative and artistic recently took a stained glass class, and is now making some really striking stained glass creations.

My own growth includes some recent writing projects that are taking me beyond the familiar world of YA literature as well as learning the ropes of some new side businesses that pay the bills while I try out some different literary styles.

Between the resources offered by your local public library, in-person classes and workshops, and the treasure trove of information that is the internet (Believe it or not, besides funny cat videos, YouTube has how-to videos on pretty much anything you could ever want to learn.) there's no excuse for not taking the time to learn and grow. Unless, of course, you're like that author handing out postcards and are under the impression that you already know everything you need to know. In which case, I feel sorry for you.

2 comments:

  1. I've met people like that author, people who think they already know everything; they're wrong about that, though they'll probably never admit it.

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  2. Agreed! There's always something new to learn about writing--whether it's tightening your own writing or dabbling with new voices or genres or anything! Eesh. As for learning new things, you gave me an idea for my post! Thank you :-)

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