PORCH SWING POINT OF VIEW: A Book Well Written


As we conclude our celebration of this two-year anniversary of my column this month, I realize I must admit something to you.  Although when I began writing to you two years ago, I certainly wouldn’t have considered myself a ‘writer’, now I suppose the term fits.  No, I haven’t thrown humility out the window.  I don’t begin to claim a place among the great novelists like Hemingway and Tolkien.  I can’t spin a suspenseful yarn like Christie or Poe.  And though there is a lot “I don’t understand,” I can’t express those thoughts as well as Andy Rooney.  But here I am…still typing away.  And there you are…still reading.  And so, I suppose, I am a writer—But so are you.

 Oh, you didn’t realize that?  It’s true.  Each one of us is writing a novel of our very own at this moment in time.  Each day as we wake up, we begin a new page.  The stages of our life are chapters, and the highlights propel the plot.  You see, we write a novel with our lives and those around us are our readers.  The pages are full of interesting characters and fascinating connections.  And no matter how insignificant we may feel, our lives are lived as books placed upon a shelf for all to read. 

Though all of our stories are unique and special in their own ways, I wish three particular things for each of you still writing your stories.  The first is that your story may be long.  When I am not particularly enjoying a book I’m reading, I often flip to the end to see the page number and figure how many I have left to go.  But when I’m in the middle of an especially good story, I hope that it goes on and on.  I wish the same for each of you and your stories.

 Secondly, I desire each and every one of your stories to have more laughter than tears.  The readers among us know that any truly good book contains both the happy and the sad, the downtrodden and the upbeat.  Our lives contain the same.  And though we don’t always have control over the circumstances, a positive outlook can make a marked difference in the outcome.  I’m optimistic that your story will leave those who read it with a smile. 

Finally, I want for each one of you to have a vast and extensive following of readers.  An author must have readers in order to motivate them to continue writing.  And so must we.  Our readers are family and friends who have a vested interest in our lives.  Their patronage and support are crucial to our well-being and the success of our stories.  I hope you have a network of readers that abounds. 

Yes, I am a writer.  But so are you.  May you write a long, dynamic story full of much laughter and even greater love, and when it is time to close your book and place it upon the shelf, may all those who’ve read it look upon your story and say there was a life well lived, theirs was a book well written. 

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