The author was by all accounts a fortunate fellow. He had a loving family and devoted friends who banded together to get the novel he’d been working on for years independently published, complete with a gritty, street-smart cover design that telegraphed the novel’s theme with verve. When the book finally rolled off the presses, there was a big party to celebrate. Wine and words of praise flowed freely. The writer hit the big time mediawise as well: the New York Times ran a glowing story chronicling his rise from struggling scrivener to published author.
There was only one problem: the writer wasn’t around to enjoy it all. He’d kept his novel under wraps for years, never sharing it with anyone. Only after he had passed away was it brought to life as a way of honoring him. Now, I’m the first to believe that he was probably looking down from on high and enjoying it all – perhaps even orchestrating the whole affair. Still, I can’t help but reflect sadly on the fact that, for whatever reason, he didn’t feel comfortable sharing his work. And so it never blossomed into a book in his lifetime.
Many moons ago, I had a good friend who was a bold and brassy entrepreneur. Young and green, I was excited about an idea of mine, but hesitated to make it public for fear that “someone might steal it.” My friend’s attitude was this: If you hold something in too long, it withers on the vine. Shout it from the rooftops, was her advice. Tell everyone! You never know who might be able to help you make your dream a reality. Even if someone does steal your idea, she added, they can’t steal your mind – your own unique way of putting it out in the world.
If only the author who sparked the heart-warming success story hadn’t waited so long! Just think: he might have known the indescribable joy of holding his first book in his hands and hoisting a glass to honor himself and everyone who loved him.
Everything begins in darkness, but even words need light and air to thrive.