envy shouldn't fuel our conversations, good luck doesn't earn us pride: let us do some good in this world

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Being an old woman now, being a veteran of hope and disappointments, promises made and not always kept, I've seen things. I've felt things. I've wondered.

Many conclusions I've kept to myself. Some I've shared privately, quietly, with friends. Never in a bookstore gathering, nor on a panel, nor in a public forum, nor in a passive-aggressive social-media way have I thought it okay—from a human perspective, from the perspective of career advancement, even—to strike back or out at others. To put one writer or book down in order to promote another. To laugh at the person not in the room, or at the person sitting just a few stools down.

These are books we are writing, and if we are writing them for the right reasons, we're not writing them to win, we're not writing them to be famous, we're not writing them to put ourselves on an endless tour away from home and family. We're not writing so that we will own the headlines. We're writing because within the deep of us, something stirs—idea, character, language. The stuff of the soul.

Good luck in our own careers doesn't earn us entree to prideful pronouncements. Bad luck shouldn't put us on a battleground. Envy shouldn't fuel our conversations.

Our country trembles. Our planet stands at desperate risk. Dangers lurk and hearts are broken. People are dying too soon and for no other reason than that they were in a church at a wrong time, or on a beach when terror came, or in a museum when someone raised a gun, or in a hotel when a plane fell.

May we write books that explore, expose, ponder, transcend, heal. May we live, as authors, with the ambition of doing some measurable good in this world.


Tina Hudak said...

Serendipitous that I should read this now. Thank you, Beth Kephart.

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