Beth Dotson Brown

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When I was a girl, someone introduced me to the idea that you can never truly understand another person’s experience unless you’re able to walk in his or her shoes. I wish I could remember who planted that idea in the malleable mind of my youth because in many ways it has formed who I am and the kind of work I do.

I wanted to try on all sorts of shoes, so I began writing fiction. In a short story, play or novel, I can become a person I am not and, through my characters, see the world through different eyes.

Writing creatively wasn’t enough for me. I decided to also delve into journalism. What a wonderful choice for someone who want to amble along with someone else! When I interview people, I ask the question then I listen. I try to truly hear what they are saying. I ask more questions to comprehend it more deeply. Then I write about it to share it with others.

Walking these roads has also led me to nonprofit organizations where people do work I admire and want to support. When nonprofits share their stories and those of the people they work with, the public grows in awareness and desire to support the good work. And I put on yet another pair of shoes.

All of those experiences also introduced me to others who like to dance with words, aspiring writers who thrive on sharing their creativity and their own stories. From my multiple experiences, I crafted classes and workshops, began mentoring writers and found new roads to explore.

Sometimes these companions—fictional or true-to-life—march me up steep hills or treacherous mountains. On other days they ask me to stroll with them through fields of flowers or along peaceful creeks. There are even times when we use a passport, try another language and taste the local delicacies. Wherever we go, it’s always an adventure for the mind, heart and soul.

I write because I must. The words are in me, waiting to be invited to dance. The music is beginning. Will you join me?

Author's Plays