I once had a dream, to be a great writer.
The year was 1989 and I was in seventh grade. My teacher, Mr. H- loved literature and he read a book called The Wild Children. It was about children that had been displaced and orphaned during the Russian Revolution.
I LOVED this book! I don't really remember loving to read before this book. It was the moment in my life when words on the page suddenly had deep meaning, with the ability to shock, please, and cause me to think critically.
I started checking out many books from the library, and one novel I found was a very thick book called, The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks. At first I was attracted to the book because it was so thick, and I had never attempted to read something of that calibre before. But I signed it out, not realizing that this book would be the primo temporis when I became so absorbed into a story I lost sense of time and place and I experienced the highs and lows of the characters.
When I reached the end of that story, I was enthralled with the loss the hero experienced and how the story wasn't just a happily ever after, but that the hero was forever changed by his experiences, just as I had been reading the book.
And so, I started writing.
But it is different now. I may yet become a great writer, but I'm afraid fame won't come until after my death, as is the case of most artists. But even the dream of being remembered is rapidly disappearing for us writers.
You see, we think that people love to read, because we love to read. But that just isn't the case anymore. The reading generation is disappearing. North America and Western Civilization once had the highest literacy rates in the world. But I am finding, as a teacher, that reading levels are decreasing every year. The vocabulary the students use is decreasing. The ability to read for a sustained time, is all but gone.
This is depressing. I know. And even though I may be a dinosaur when it comes to my writing. There is a place for it, and I hope that at some junction in the future, someone will find the pleasure lost to humanity and once again introduce books to the world for consumption. It will be a rebirth. I may not be alive when it happens, but I look forward to it nonetheless.