Is it Worthwhile?
As Easter approaches and my thoughts are more on the cross than the computer, I go into one of my periodic episodes of angst, wondering if, in the cosmic scheme of things, what I do—what we all do—is of any real value. I’m not a great writer. None of my books will survive more than a few years, none will ever be found in any list of the hundred (or thousand, or million) best books ever written. None will ever be in the syllabus for any literature course anywhere. They are ephemeral, meant to entertain and then be forgotten.
Except—there are passages I’ve written that may occasionally give someone pause for thought. I do try to write honestly and to insert now and then any small nuggets of wisdom I’ve picked up in nearly seventy-two years on this earth. I am a woman of faith, and I try to make that plain in my books, without preaching. I believe that most people are basically good and trying to do their best, sometimes against formidable odds, so those are the people who inhabit my boos. And while I understand that there’s also a sizeable minority of folks who are out for what they can get, looking out for number one, well—I do need villains in my books, too.
And as I sit and ponder, I also think about the perhaps-ephemeral books I’ve read over the years that have become part of my mental furniture. I think about the simple, but often profound, insights offered by Alexander McCall Smith in his wonderful books. I think about the bits of Dorothy L. Sayers that I can quote by the yard, ideas that have enriched my life. I think about Carolyn Hart’s plots, that she refers to as parables.
And I think of the times a book by one of you fellow bloggers has given me a respite I badly needed when life was sort of tough. Or the times I received the great gift of an unexpected belly laugh—or a good cry.
Maybe that’s enough to aspire to—to write what I can write, as best I can, and hope that someone, somewhere, will find in what I’ve written something they need just then. Let those who are able write deathless prose, and more power to them. Me, I’ll stick to my faultier last and not worry about it too much.
May you all have a blessed Easter/Passover/Spring… whatever you celebrate…and keep writing.
Filed under: Jeanne Dams |