By now your 4th of July Holiday is miles away in your rear view mirror (maybe feet if you got the four day weekend), and you’re looking forward the next holiday to celebrate.
Bastille Day? I don’t know.
For me, Independence day has been one of those holidays that always seems to have a ever-evolving significance for me. I man sure, the “actual” reason why we celebrate July 4th is evergreen, but I’m talking about my personal significance.
When I was a kid, it was all about fireworks. Well, my parents weren’t the “celebrate holidays” type so usually we went over to relatives and attended their parties. This eventually died out too, but the neighbors two doors down used to have a yearly shindig that we were always invited to. When I was a teenager, it was about baseball. No matter how hot and sticky July in NYC got, the Mets had a home game around that holiday and that usually meant fireworks. Of course I would see these fireworks from the living room television, but the sweet smells of my ice pop coupled with the smoky flavors from neighbor’s barbeques wafting in the windows was a cocktail I wouldn’t forget. As an adult, I don’t really attend too many July 4th parties, but I take the time to thank the United States for all that its provided all the years.
“Oh America. You ain’t perfect, but I love you just the same!”
As a writer, the “reason” why we write has to evolve too. Sure, you can tell your friends “Hey, I started writing because I love it”, but I truly believe by your third book there has to be another type of fuel for your creative engine. J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series was started for personal reasons, but upon seeing the juggernaut it had become, ‘ol Harry and his posse had taken on a whole different significance and almost single-handedly created a whole generation of readers that surprises even me. (Surprised as I never got into the books myself. I was more into Archie Comics as a kid. What? Don’t judge me)
Finding and evolving the “purpose” of why you write and the purpose of your cast of characters within is a sure fire way to keep your works relevant in today’s ever changing marketplace….or so I’ve heard. You see, the word people like to toss around is “relatable,” as in ‘Superman isn’t relatable.‘
Despite the fact that relatable isn’t a word (YET. I believe you are supposed to say “relate to”), this seems to be a common trend with most post modern entertainment. How do you make your main protagonist “likeable?” It’s actually a far cry from older literature where characters were characters and it was up to the reader to like the character or not, but I’ll digress out of fear of sounding like that old man on my porch in the proverbial rocking chair.
In any event, here’s to you continuing to evolve. USA! USA!