When I was 21 years old, I began writing what I hoped would be my first novel. I called it the Librarian. It didn’t take long for me to realise that my efforts were going nowhere. Since I had at that time recently published four newspaper editorials on the environment, and I had published a few essays and poems in a youth journal when I was 18, I had somehow thought I was now ready to do a major piece of writing. It was all an ego trip to be sure.
Then, I began to read about the authors that I loved and respected such as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. When I found out that their major works work written at a more mature age, I vowed to not give up writing. Noting Tolstoy’s example, I decided that I would not judge myself harshly. I suspected, and stated to my wife and a few others that perhaps when I was in my 70s I would finally write a book that was worth being published.
Well, today I turn 70. I am now officially old. I am supposedly mature and responsible according to the age charts. However, my wife might dispute this as she still puts up with a lot of my nonsense [much like Tolstoy’s wife]. I have published three novels, none of which I would hazard will become a classic read. My poetry is good, very good. But to my mind, it is the novel that will define me as a writer. If I am going to write that ONE defining novel, I had best get at it. I can sense the clock ticking down the remaining years.
Is this an unrealistic dream? I somehow don’t think so. There is a novel that is buried within, one that will capture the human psyche in such a manner as to define our current reality. If I can do this, the novel will have met my goals, and perhaps as a result, become a novel that others WANT to read.
My novels get good reviews with all of them rating 4+ stars at Goodreads and at Amazon. I do know how to write. Yet, these novels are not much more than practice for the real thing. Now if only I can live long enough … LOL!
6 thoughts on “The Search For a Defining Novel”
Congratulations an achieving the age of 70, Robert, and in doing so in good health and good spirits! And may your next trip (or trips! – I trust there will be many of them!) around the sun bring you the novel to which you aspire. I hope you’re able to celebrate the day in your natural, skyclad style!
LOL! All it took was to wake up each morning. Trips are planned for at least another fifteen years.
Congratulations, Robert. On your birthday and your insights.
Keep writing, my friend, and if ever you feel doubt about something, you know where to find us. We’ll “cheer you on”. 🙂
Thanks Paul. No fear, I will keep on writing, probably more so as I get older and less enthusiastic about wandering aimlessly through our universe.
Robert, I am sure your novel will be fantastic! You ARE a very accomplished author!
Thanks, Fabien. I am glad that you feel I am getting there as an author. Hope springs eternal here on my side of the keyboard.