Because I was unable to attend How I Write I found an interesting interview with a writer that I absolutely love, John Grisham. There were quite a few things that resonated with me from this interview but I really liked how there were “Key to Success” references made throughout the interview. Those references were instrumental in helping me coalesce his ideas. The keys to success Grisham discussed were vision, The American Dream, perseverance, passion, integrity, and preparation. Although all of the Keys to Success were relevant, I think The American Dream and preparation were the salient themes in the interview. They are the two themes Grisham brought out that I think will help me most as a writer going forward.
First of all, what is the American Dream? If a family lives in a house as shown below with a couple kids and a dog, does that mean they are living the American Dream and that they are happy?
According to Grisham the American Dream is “for one generation to keep building the dream for later generations.” I am inclined to agree with that statement more than the popular definition associated with the American Dream. Grisham’s definition doesn’t suggest in any way that the American Dream means one has to have a home as pictured above. In my opinion, his statement suggests that the American Dream is about having aspirations and bringing those aspirations into fruition for your sake and for the sake of future generations.
My two greatest dreams in life are to be a great writer and to develop my interpersonal skills. I am developing my interpersonal skills and writing skills everyday in school, therefore, I am living the American Dream right now right? I think I am, but can the popular definition of the American Dream apply to me if I don’t own a home or have kids? This idea of the American Dream relates to my writing because by developing the skills necessary to make my dreams come true I will be a better person and a better role model. Making my dreams come true will allow me to make a profound impact on people’s lives and help people express themselves in a more cohesive and intellectual manner. One of my main goals in life is to help myself so that I can help others in the future, and I think that is a characteristic of what Grisham and I think the American Dream is.
In order to make my dreams come true I need to prepare. So how do I prepare to be a good writer? I think for now, the answer is that I need to read, not just for school, but for pleasure as well. Why can’t this be me on the beach reading?
Reading can be relaxing, fun, educational, and it can develop your writing skills all at the same time. Grisham suggests that:
“It is terribly important to read extensively. Virtually all writers I know are voracious readers still, and that is preparation.”
Grisham was a lawyer and an author and I think that is quite an impressive feat. Does maintaining a legal career and writing career spark enough curiosity for you to look at this interview in its entirety? I encourage my audience to take the time to read and listen to the entire interview. Grisham is one someone who I look up to as a writer, and one day I hope to one day be able to emulate the aesthetic tone he writes in. First, I will complete all the books he has written. After all, there is no better way to prepare to be a writer than to read.
P.S. If you have time, read this book if you haven’t already done so! Honestly, this reads like a whirlwind. It is a great example of how I aspire to write in the future. I literally couldn’t put this book down towards the end until I finished.