It’s midnight-thirty and I have a passel of kids home for spring break, but I’m going to write this because it’s exactly what Stevie Nicks would do. I know this because she told me so.

She’s on tour with her solo songs, things she wrote outside of the Fleetwood Mac sets, so the stories behind the lyrics were a prominent part of her concert.

She’s an inspiration without even having to try. She’s 68, still touring (in heels!) and her voice is as distinctive and true as anything you’ve heard in a recording from any of the last five decades.

You could be inspired by her stories of unabashedly calling up Tom Petty or Prince to collaborate or play a song she just wrote (or, in the case of “Stand Back,” rewrote based on “Little Red Corvette.”)

Or you could take her “Follow your dreams” speeches — and there were several mixed into her concert material — at face value.

But here’s the story I found to say it best.

Stevie is a struggling young artist working two jobs, as a waitress and a house cleaner. She writes songs as she can, and finally gets enough attention in the industry to record her first album.

The album comes out and is released to the world, the culmination of her dreams, hard work and distinctive voice.

And she remains a waitress and a house cleaner.

Nothing really happens. The album goes nowhere. Her label drops her.

But here’s the thing. Artists make art. So she kept right on going, kept writing, kept singing. From looking at snow covered hills from a rich person’s house to inspire her to write “Landslide,” to trying to honor the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in “New Orleans,” she held tight to the things that spoke to her, and retold them in song.

Then one day, Fleetwood Mac called.

It’s possible (and, in fact, quite probable) that your first efforts at your passion will move invisibly through time, impacting only you.

But you are the most important person. Without you, that art never existed in the first place.

The only opportunity that is lost is the art you never make at all.

Based on all the things I felt moved to create after tonight, I’m going to be doing some collaborating after the release of my next series (15 days until Forbidden Dance, y’all.) And also telling a few more stories about the inspiration for the stories. And asking other authors to do the same. It’s important.

Sometimes the best way to inspire people to follow their dreams is simply to follow yours.

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