Among the many lessons I enjoyed at Chautauqua this summer, during the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop, I'm still struck by the simplicity of Joy Cowley's teaching: "All writers start in the same place."
When Joy, a beloved children's author, began her plenary address with these words, I first thought, "Gee, that's simplistic and unhelpful. I hope she has better stuff than that."
Days later, my teacher Kent Brown repeated the comment. It still sounded simplistic and unhelpful, but I thought, "Dang nab it all, if Kent is repeating it, it must have some mysterious meaning." (I always have to stretch to catch the ideas that are sailing over my head.)