Yesterday was ‘National Author’s Day.’ On the 7th of this month ‘National Book Award Week’ will begin, and the newest set of America’s most celebrated authors will be honored by the National Book Foundation. Several more holidays in November revolve around libraries and librarians. Collectively it seems we have decided that November is a time to visit libraries, read books and honor our literary heroes.
At the Writers’ Program we have students in all different stages of their careers; from published authors, produced screenwriters, to those writing their very first stories. While we wrestle with the page, make submissions, or try and move to our next career milestone, we can often forget why we came to this craft in the first place.
November, with all its literary focus, is offering us a moment to pause and remember our “why.” Why did we choose this craft? This art form that requires so much of us?
For most of us it was because of what someone else wrote. We read a book, watched a film or tv show and said, “I want to do that.” Maybe the writer moved us, made us laugh. Maybe they caused us to see the world through a different set of eyes or inspired us to ask questions of our existence. Whatever it was, it was powerful. These writers allowed themselves to be naked on the page and because of their act of bravery we were never the same.
As the end of the year approaches with its shorter days and crisp nights, let’s take a moment to return to our ‘why.’ To revisit the authors who changed us, the movies or television shows that shaped our worldview. Let’s return to the inspiration that brought us to write in the first place.
It’s time to visit your local library and check out that book that stuck inside you, or pick up that dog-eared novel you’ve read a thousand times. To binge watch your favorite show or sit down with a loved one to watch the film that changed your life.
Happy November writers! Wishing you all a fruitful creative pilgrimage.