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creativity

In the pause: 9/11 turned me into a writer

“Your word is your wand.” ~Florence Scovel Shinn

On this day of remembrance, I’m reflecting on the power of our words as writers. In many ways, September 11th gave me the urgency to write. I wanted so much to be a writer all my life. Buried somewhere in the grief of that day and the many days that followed, something rose up and said, “You must do this now. Right now.” And so I began to write things down. Ideas and stories and reflections at my then very young age of 25.

I didn’t know where it would lead, but I felt that I needed to leave something behind, something that would survive long after me. It would be many more years before Emerson Page entered my mind, many more years until a life-threatening tragedy of a different kind would literally meet me at my doorstep and spur me to find and stand in my own light.

Watching how precious and fleeting life can be, for reasons completely out of our control and out of the realm of what we even imagine to be possible every morning, 9/11 brought into irrefutable focus that we have to live every day. To honor those we lost. To honor all of those forever impacted by it in countless and unchangeable ways. To not wait. To not let the days slip away but to grab them, hold them, and treasure them. To live out loud. That’s what they would have done. That’s what they would have wanted for all of us.

On this day of remembrance, I wish you peace and love and light. And I wish you the energy to embrace your passions that make this world so rich and vibrant. Your story, every story, matters. To someone, somewhere. Write it down so that others may know you even if you never get the chance to meet them. You never know what difference your words will make to someone who needs them. You may have just the magic they need to keep going in their own lives.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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