Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hardship and writing

I have a young friend whose article today in the Contra Costa Times cites his desire to write a great novel. He participated in the National Novel Writing Month experiment -- first invented in the SF Bay Area and now a national literary celebration of enormous proportions. He investigated (like a good journalist) how people do this, how the movement began, and he participated, and found that he wasn't up to writing 1,666 words a day for 30 days. At the age of 16. He cites lack of hardship in life, but I know a little of this young man's life. He nearly died shortly after he was born. He has had to live with a medical condition, and that has not always made life easy. I have seen a little of the hardship he has already faced, and I have a feeling that a great novel is in him. Maybe he needs more than a month to release it.

Maybe we all have one great book in us and need only the time and belief in ourselves to release it. Maybe a book is the testament of hardship endured and transformed into understanding, and we all work at our own books. Whether they reach paper or not.