To all of you writers out there, Happy National Authors Day. In 1928, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson decided to bring up the idea of having a day dedicated to American Authors to her Illinois book club. Nellie had spent her life as a teacher and follower of literature, particularly American authors. It took twenty years, but in 1949 the U.S. Department of Commerce officially made it an official holiday.
Those of us who write are also probably avid readers. I remember spending most of my childhood buried in books about the young sleuth, Nancy Drew. I traveled through the halls of a hospital with Cherry Ames, student nurse. Each of those characters enlivened interest in opportunities for young women. I loved the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as they played and caused trouble on the Mississippi River. Thoughts of different times in our history were spurred by books like the Scarlet Letter, the Catcher in the Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird and the tales of Edgar Allen Poe.
As I think of all the authors who influence our way of thinking – who take us to other places – provide an escape from the humdrum, it seems a great idea to honor the authors of our country. Most of them struggled with problems of their own, which they worked through in their writing – in a way it was cathartic and is for those of us who write today. We can muddle through writing a daily blog, keep a journal, put a story of fiction down o paper and stir the imagination of those who read it.
As I think about my own writing journey, I am realizing that it’s a difficult one. A part of the heart and soul is buried in the works we create for others is also being engraved in minds that are longing for change, escape or way to pass the time. We depend on writers to give us the daily news, to shape thinking, to give opinions, to entertain us to show us how other’s lives are led.
An author is also subject to rejection. When the author’s opinion is the thread that weaves the story, they may also create opposition for the masses and maybe insurrection. So we must choose our words wisely. We have a responsibility to say what we mean, but not to create riots or mob mentality.
So if you’re a writer, keep writing. You may never get your epic published. You may pay a lot of money to self publish. You might even be recognized by a reknown publisher. Whatever level you’re at, remember that you are an important part of society. Your thoughts have value. Your talent to find just the right words is necessary. Your perseverance is vital. If you are an author, don’t give up.
“Tomorrow is another day,” Margaret Mitchell