Thought I wouldn’t get this in, didn’t you?
Yeah. Me too.
Here’s the quote:
That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson has a point, but it’s one that I have a small beef with. Someone taught Mozart the scales. Someone taught Shakespeare to read. The basic tools are the same for all of us, it’s what we choose to do with them that tells.
I’m one of those folks that believes that our talents are gifts from God. We do what we can to develop them, and to serve our fellow man. I think writing can do that, just as chemistry can, physics can, art can, law can, and music definitely can. We strive to do good, to help our fellow man, and to develop those talents we’ve been given. Writing – story – is meant to help, inspire, and encourage. Maybe it teaches, or causes someone to reflect on who they are and what they should be doing. Sometimes it’s a rest – a chance to lay down the burdens of the day and escape for a few moments.
I once heard an interview with Brad Thor where he said that the work that you’re meant to do is inevitably that work which scares the living bejeebers out of you. I suppose in a way, that’s true with me and writing. The writing happens, occasionally, but actually showing someone something I’ve written? I haven’t done that in a long while.
That’s going to change here in a couple of weeks, when I take a story I wrote to the local writer’s group. It’s a follow-up to a piece I co-wrote with Scott Roche, The Battle of Wildspitze, available now on Smashwords. The survivors of the Battle of Wildspitze return home to face a board of inquiry as to what happened to the Columbia. Before the board’s decision is brought down, there’s intrigue, sabotage, evil brownies, and the Fae. I like the piece, and I’m hoping to get some good criticism out of the group. Without good criticism, how can you hope to improve, right?
So, what’s the next step for you?