Writers are lucky. As Ray Bradbury discovered, he has the power to live forever. In his works and in his life’s musings, he was fascinated with the idea of living forever—and as a modern classic author, he will. But he had another theme that emerged in all his works, and I find it fascinating: the realization that one is alive.
Too many of us take life for granted. Stop and smell the roses is a cliché of clichés, but it’s an important idea. How many of us slow down and realize, every day, that we’re alive? I was never raised on Country, but one of my favorite songs is “Live Like You Were Dying” because it captures this same idea. We are alive, and we have all these years (or days, or hours) to make something of ourselves. We shouldn’t squander any of it.
It’s the same with writing. We have this gift of writing—yes, you do, right there behind the monitor. If you didn’t have the gift of writing in you, you wouldn’t be reading this!—and it’s important that we don’t squander it. So many people want to see their work in print so badly that they’ll type something up quickly, edit it briefly, send it off to a dozen editors or agents, and then complain about how difficult it is to get published. I propose writing something that is amazing, that celebrates one facet of the amazing gem that is the human condition, something that leaves the reader with a long-lasting, thought-provoking idea that lingers on the brain, in the heart, and in the soul.
Take time to master the craft of writing, for with enough practice, you might just find that your writing has become immortal.
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