There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. -- W. Somerset Maugham
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The Greatest Writer Who Ever Lived Never Wrote a Word

Harry Wagonlit Sparkling

Some people say Shakespeare is the greatest writer who ever lived, but I know better.

The greatest writer who ever lived was Harry Wagonlit Sparkling.

The expression of his creative genius, however, was limited to the most colorful daydreams a young man could ever hope to have.

Harry didn't know he was extraordinary. He thought everyone possessed a mind such as his and, for all of his imaginative genius, never considered becoming a writer to be within the realm of possibility.

He had been told one too many times to keep his stories to himself. And so he did.

We will never know the color and texture of Harry's descriptions or the hope his words would have ignited in the hearts and minds of readers all over the world.

Even though he felt the pull, he allowed limiting beliefs to prevent him from picking up the pen.

His talent surpassed that of Shakespeare, but he never believed in himself enough to try.

Is this you? Do you feel the pull, but fail to pick up the pen?

I'm not saying you are more talented than William Shakespeare or Harry Sparkling, but you might be.

Cynthia Matilda Bohannan

Harry was a he, but the greatest writer who ever lived may have been a woman by the name of Cynthia Matilda Bohannan from the Irish countryside near Rabbit Island. She, too, felt the pull and although she picked up the pen, put it down much too soon.

Her family fell on hard times when she was just a school girl. She was forced to quit school and work at a mill. Sometimes, when she was not so exhausted that she couldn't stay awake, she would lay in bed and write.

She wrote stories because she couldn't help herself.

She never shared them, because in her mind, they were never finished. "I'll finish when I get more paper," she would say. Paper was not hard to come by in her community but it was valued more for burning than for reading and writing. And so she didn't protest when her sheets filled with tiny black script were burned in the fireplace. The heat produced by her stories was fleeting and Cynthia robbed the world of words which could have healed the hearts of millions.

The greatest writer who ever lived gave up much too soon.

I don't know if you have the potential to be a better writer than Shakespeare or Harry or Cynthia, but you might.

You wouldn't be reading this right now if you hadn't felt the pull.

The pull alone is not enough, of course, but there is clearly a story inside of you waiting to get out. It needs your permission, but also your persistence.

Who knows? Your voice could be the one that makes all the difference.

Will you pick up the pen? Or click the keys, as we might say in the 21st century?

Genoa Ashendorf

Some say William Faulkner was the greatest writer of all time, but I think not.

The greatest writer of all time never published her works because she lacked the simple tools needed to translate her wealth of insight into published stories the world would want to read.

Unlike Miss Bohannan or Mister Sparkling, Genoa Ashendorf truly believed in herself and her voice. She desperately wanted to write, but she was poor and paper for writing was expensive. Instead, she gathered scraps of newspapers from the city and took pieces of charcoal from the fire to scratch words in the margins. She had stacks and stacks of newspapers with faded and illegible charcoal scratches in the margins. No one could reconstruct her stories and whenever she looked back at old writings she found that even she could no longer decipher her words.

In time paper became affordable, but it was too late for Genoa. She no longer wanted to change and somewhere inside she felt that charcoal and newspapers gave her a unique charm which other writers could never have. About this, she was correct. She wrote until the very last, but her words faded into the hazy mist of lost days.

Genoa never stopped writing just because she lacked the best tools. Many of us would not have her determination, or stubborness, in the face of such obstacles. But we have all paid a price by not having her words in the world.

Have you ever stopped writing because your tools were too cumbersome?

Have you ever let a story languish because you dreaded the prospect of opening up that pain-in-the-neck software program again?

I'm not suggesting that writing a novel is easy, it's not.

But what do you think Genoa could have done with a modern computer and great software had she been alive today and, of course, willing to make a change?

The greatest writer who ever lived failed to use the right tools.

The Truth

I want to leave you with the same words I would have shared with Harry, Cynthia and Genoa had I been given the opportunity.

You, yes you, have a calling and a purpose. I can't tell you what that is, but since you are reading this, you might be a writer. There are many styles of writers and your particular calling may be to use written words to teach and inform, or inspire and encourage, or to offer a moment of joyful escape--or all of the above.

If you feel the pull, then listen to it and find out what it's trying to tell you. If you believe in your dream enough to act on it, understand that it won't be easy. It will demand a lot of you. I can't lie.

But it could be the most rewarding thing you ever do if you can summon the persistence to finish it.

And finally, for God's sake, don't make it harder than it has to be.

My father always says, "Use the right tool for the job."

Find the right tool for you and use it.

I hope that tool will be PieceWorx Writing Studio.