“I want to do something splendid…
Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead…
I think I shall write books.”
― Louisa May Alcott
Such a nice thought. I think I shall write books and people will remember me.
What a simple time Louisa lived in. I love the quote, but does it work for today’s world? Thousands of people are writing books and publishing them at record speed. The general public doesn’t have to wait for new stories to come on bookshelves once or twice a year.
Computers, the internet, self-publishing have changed all that. Competition is fierce. Who will notice your book? And why should they read it? Is it free? Or 99¢? Hardback or ebook? So many choices. Louisa May Alcott, it would make your head spin.
Luckily, Louisa’s books were published during a time when readers could discover an author at a slower pace and look forward to their next novel. People read for entertainment, reading being one of the only outlets at the time.
I remember reading Little Women over and over again when I was young. I went on to read other books by Louisa. Little Men and Jo’s Boys come to mind, but I don’t remember reading those stories more than one time.
Louisa May Alcott got her wish. Her time-honored story of four sisters, Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy March, has been made into a movie, a musical, and has a soundtrack. Yes, Louisa, people remember you.
How can writers apply the quote to today’s world? Well, I wouldn’t change a word. Go ahead and do something splendid. Do something heroic. Write it all down. Maybe you won’t be remembered, but perhaps you’ll inspire someone by doing something you believe in. There’s a possibility you’ll make yourself feel wonderful you accomplished a huge undertaking. Writing a book is no small task.
So I challenge you. If you had the urge to write and felt you wouldn’t be heard, so what? Tell yourself, “I think I shall write books.” Just like Ms. Alcott did. Pick up the pen and get started. You may surprise yourself.