By Tina Whittle

One of the most common questions I get asked during interviews is when I started being a writer. It’s also one of the hardest questions to answer. Technically, I’ve been a writer as long as I’ve been writing. But I didn’t know I was a writer – didn’t really understand what that meant – until tenth grade journalism class, when my teacher read a faux advice column I’d written aloud to the class and one girl laughed so hard she started ugly crying.

Before then, I knew that words were powerful. But at that moment I realized they were powerful in my hands, as a tool I could wield uniquely well. It felt like being in one of those movies where the Chosen One picks up this ordinary sword and it glows golden and starts making a humming sound and everybody around them takes a step back and goes, whoa.

Words are my personal Jedi light saber. But they are certainly not the only way to be creative in this universe. Some people connect to music; others to painting. Others dance, and other play baseball. People make pottery and movies and code. They drive race cars and fold origami and smoke briskets and put on plays and piece quilts and grow roses and build shelves and and and…

Maybe you know what your creative genius is. Maybe you’re still searching. I hope at least you’re NOT one of those people who says “I’m not creative” or thinks that creativity is a virtue or special talent of some kind. Because creativity is already a part of you as much as your breath and your heartbeat. It is your birthright, the thing your brain was made to do.

As spring moves into summer, I hope you get some time to enjoy whatever warms your creative soul. I’ll be writing, of course, but also taking up my drawing lessons again. Very badly but enthusiastically.

What will you be doing for fun this summer?

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