The Next Great American Novel

I’ve written it a hundred times in my head.

Pages upon pages of concepts, ideas, themes, plot and story lines swirl around in my head… minute by minute, hour by hour, day after day after day.  Current events juxtaposed with the pervasive and unifying social themes from time immemorial.  All the makings for an excellent novel…

The next Great American Novel… with me as its author.

And what do I have to show for it?  Nothing.  I have yet to commit a single word of it to paper.

To be sure, all of it is clustered in my mind.  It’s all there.  Completely unorganized, yet immediately accessible at the worst of times… driving in the car, showering, out on a run, during work, in the middle of a dinner conversation.  Everywhere and anywhere that I can think, but cannot act, the novel has been and is being written…  But not on paper.

Oh, it makes so much sense in my head.  It is so powerful.  My commentary on the human condition.  My contribution to a greater understanding of ourselves, of our society.  My calling.  My purpose.  My contribution…

Again, what do I have to show for it?  Nothing.  I have yet to commit a single word of it to paper.

So then, who am I to even begin to presume that I could offer anything of substance, anything worth reading on a blog… let alone a contribution to the American literary collection?!  I mean, come on… I am going to write the next Great Gatsby?  To Kill a Mockingbird?  Or wait, maybe I will just crank out an easy Moby Dick or Grapes of Wrath, and cap it off with the present times version of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?!

I so desperately want to speak about the profundities of the American experience.  But what could I possibly have to offer that would ever be viewed as a contribution to the collection of American Literature?

One day, I have promised myself… one day I will commit it all to paper, in an organized an intelligible way.  I will make my contribution to society… In a literary masterpiece, the likes of which would place my name in the same standing as Faulkner, Salinger, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald.

will write something, the thing, that will resonate in readers for decades and centuries to come.

In the meantime, I guess I will just go for a run after work, take a shower, and drive to meet some friends for dinner.

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