Written From My Heart
As we all know, it is probably the wish of every writer to write a book which will be read by millions of people, right? And since I am one of those writers, I am no different.
I have always wanted to write the “great American novel.” As a matter of fact, did you know that there’s even a definition for the “great American novel?”
Oh, yes. I looked it up, and according to Wikipedia, the “Great American Novel” is defined as: The concept of a novel that is distinguished in both craft and theme as being the most accurate representation of the spirit of the age in the United States at the time of its writing or in the time it is set. It is presumed to be written by an American author who is knowledgeable about the state, culture, and perspective of the common American citizen. The author uses the literary work to identify and exhibit the language used by the American people of the time and to capture the unique American experience, especially as it is perceived for the time. In historical terms, it is sometimes equated as being the American response to the national epic.
Therefore, if you go by that description, it’s easy to see why a writer would want to write such a book.
Just think about what writing such a book would do for a person; namely: Fame and Fortune.
First, there’s the fame that goes along with such an achievement. As the author of this book, people would recognize you wherever you go. Crowds of adoring fans would gather, with everyone clamoring for your autograph on the book that you’ve written and that they have purchased. You’d probably be asked to appear on television programs like The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, or any of a number of other television programs, just to be interviewed about your bestselling book. As a matter of fact, these shows would probably be involved in a bidding war over who would be lucky enough to have you appear on their show.
And then there’s the fortune that comes with it. It only stands to reason that if you write a bestselling novel being purchased by millions of people that you are going to make a good deal of money from those sales, right? And all those television appearances – I wonder how much a person is compensated for making those appearances? I’m sure that it’s no small amount. And if those shows are in a bidding war, as I described above, then you would be compensated even more handsomely, right? And just think of how a person’s lifestyle would change after making all that money. A person could buy a bigger house, a more expensive car, etc. The possibilities are endless.
But I wonder . . . would a person truly be happy?
Perhaps someone else would be, but I don’t think I would. These two things – fame and fortune – have never mattered to me – ever. You can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that this is true. I don’t care about having a big house or a brand new expensive car or any other luxury items and I never have. I happen to know that it’s not having “things” in life that make a person happy. And fame? I only care that the people whom I love and care for know me – my family and my friends. They’re the ones who matter to me, not the entire world.
Therefore, I’d much rather write a book that is meaningful, a worthwhile book that is studied and admired by a few, a book that I can be proud of. And if that book is studied and admired by people for decades, then that would be the best part of all. This means that I would be remembered for my work long after I am gone, and that is indeed something worth striving for.
So, you can have the fame and fortune. They are but fleeting commodities. I may never write “the great American novel,” but I will be happy doing what I do best, and that is writing from my heart.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~ William Wordsworth