photoI live and write in Portland, Oregon with my husband, our two children, and a terrarium full of carnivorous plant seeds. During the school year, I drum up ways to help at our neighborhood school. Each summer, I head to nature with my family and camp 'til we drop. Wherever I am, I write down every idea that pops into my head in a notebook (or, if need be, on the back of an old receipt or a gum wrapper.)

It may sound funny, but I wasn't always an adult. I was once a shy kid who filled secret notebooks with ideas, but did not take the time to make stories out of them. Other people - actual writers - would do it so much better, I reasoned, why even try?

I believed this for years until I married my husband, an artist who sketches hilarious characters on napkins when we go out to eat. He also draws with our kids each night for the sheer joy of it. They never got the memo that creative expression is best left in the hands of others. Or maybe they have, but they crumpled it up and threw it in the nearest campfire. Wise.

We all have stories to tell. There's a human need to create and share: from baking cakes to growing gardens to making friends to crafting stories.

I once thought I should leave the work of art for the artists, music to the musicians, and writing to the writers. Now I know that the main difference between creative types and everyone else is small but significant. People who create don't abandon their ideas - they do something with them.

© 2009 Amy Baskin