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How To Live Forever

posted Jul 17, 2015, 9:13 AM by Ben Kreucher
I think much of what we do as writers is a stopgap.  We hurriedly jot down scenes before they disappear into the ether.  We race to remember long buried memories before they bury themselves again.  We breath life into our characters by infusing them with the personalities of people we know; often merging two or more into one character.  
It's a shot at immortality.  Isn't it?  Isn't that why people long to see themselves in your books (not mine)?  Who is the main character of every novel I write?  Me.  At least, a portion of me.  Because I can relate to myself.  Even when I don't want to; even when it hurts or I'm stupid or petty, etc.

Immortality is the dream, they say.  Who first said it? I'm not really sure.  Maybe Count Dracula.  Maybe Prometheus.  We've been injecting ourselves into our stories since before written language.  How did cavemen laugh?  Stories told around the campfire of mammoth hunts gone awry.  During the Dark Ages, people wanted to believe a peasant could be king.  

Today, we seek immortality in a myriad of ways.  Whether fame and fortune or friends and family.  It all boils down to storytelling.  Memories dwell within us.  Everyone has a story.  We are all the hero of our own adventure.

Life doesn't wait for us to slay the dragon or rescue the princess.  If I don't leave the castle, you can be certain the princess will rescue herself and someone else will tame the dragon.  But, if we look carefully, we can see the magic behind every door.

Words have always been our greatest spellbinders.  Long before movies and Instagram and long after Twitter and Facebook have gone the way of the dodo, words will still connect us, motivate us, and encourage us like few things can.  Words still have power.

Then again, I have to believe that, after all, I am a wordsmith.
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