Happy fourth of July, America! Another year to celebrate all that this country has been through and continues to face. As we celebrate America’s birthday with all things “American” – hamburgers, hot dogs, picnics, family gatherings, fireworks, concerts, work, and so much more, it got me thinking, what does celebrating the Fourth of July have to do with writing? A lot, but I’ll mention only a few that are on my mind.
Much like stories, America was nothing more than an idea. That idea led to conversations that expanded into a more extended narrative and reached more and more people. These people then took upon the idea of freedom and fought hard for it, and because they put the word freedom into action, a new nation was born. That is America’s history at its core. A nation born from an idea.
America’s narrative continues to undergo edits and rewrites, year after year. If you are a writer, you know that your first piece of writing must undergo edits and revisions before leaving your computer. No one, and I mean no one who wants a career in writing, will ever submit the first draft to an agent, editor, or even their blog without a few rewrites or edits. And that’s how this great country survives and thrives. I will not get into the politics of rewriting history, but whether we like it or not, America is undergoing a revision. And as writers, we know revisions can be long, arduous, and painful but necessary.
So, my dear America, I want to tell you on your birthday: stay strong. You will survive all that we have faced this past year, and you will continue to thrive. How do I know this? Because you are that never-ending novel that doesn’t want to stay in the top drawer, you have never-ending revisions, and with each passing year, authors write their version of your original idea – freedom and justice for all.