Everyman |ˈevrēˌman| noun [ in sing. ]
an ordinary or typical human being: it is Everyman’s dream car.
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: the name of the principal character in a 15th-cent. morality play.
Welcome to the second submission of MY TWO CENTS! Please allow me, as I’ve asked in my previous post—In the Trash Can—to express my opinion and share a bit about why and what I write—and why and how many of us read.
Why write? Because of the Everyman, I say. Some of you out there might be saying, “It’s got to be difficult to sell books about ‘ordinary or typical human beings?'” Well…yes and no.
A single week of any one grocery store tabloid sells more than all the American novels do in one year.
Why do so many of us waste our time and money on this drivel?
In my opinion, the famous people inside these magazines represent outlets for us to both channel and dismantle dreams about the various ways we, at some time past or present, envisioned ourselves living; but at some point realized, for whatever reasons, were probably not going to manifest into permanent reality. (I have served many famous people in my bartending past, but we never “friended” on Facebook, reciprocated dinner party invites, or dated for a stretch.) Then again, I’m sure many of us (oops, I mean you) just like to look at the pretty pictures while we are killing time. Nothing wrong with that.
But…only around 5% of the American population reads novels with any frequency.
Shame. I don’t know what the percentage is for People Magazine but I would venture to say it’s higher than 5%. Why so askew? Easy. We are a tremendously busy, sensationalized, and picky society. It’s easier to watch the popcorn movie bathed in sex, violence, and non-stop action, versus attending to a thought provoking book or movie with profound plot and themes. Don’t get me wrong…I do it myself, but I think I balance my beer and ice cream portions with high quality fillet of fish and vegetables.
So…maybe we can agree that we as a society have a small cultural problem when it comes to our literary and boob-tube choices—especially in relation to our newer generations? Maybe we could all be slightly better rounded—worldly? And maybe we need to demand better entertainment from our artists?
Change is inevitable…but decisions about choices are our tools to combat what we perceive as societal negativities. Artists wouldn’t pump out crap if publishers and movie producers weren’t standing outside their studios with drool-stained, wet-ink checks. We ultimately have the responsibility to decide what sells.
Well, for those of you who concur, I pledge to do my best when it comes to the sort of novels I manufacture. I want you all to get a well balanced meal with a decent, but not absurd portion of meat, potato, and vegetables. And because art’s main purpose should be to entertain and delight, I will continue to make sure there is a fair portion of dessert. After all, I am certainly no prude. Sex, violence, and profanity are staples, realities of life. When used without sensationalization—used sparingly and appropriately complimentary to plot and character—they prove to be an invaluable tool.
I write for the same reason I wish everyone worked, because we have to—not economically speaking. I-haven’t-made-one-copper-colored-cent from my writing labors—yet. Writing is an outlet for my innate passion—aka “inner dragon.” Writing is a love, and like any love; frustration accompanies. But even love agitated by frustration seeks an audience…an audience I know is out there. Maybe you are discouraged or awaiting a better meal—without someone reminding you it’s more nutritious.
I love the Everyman; I am he/she.
I wish to work for you in a way that you might discover how extraordinary you are in ways previously unrecognizable. And I want to write for you, to entertain you. Really think about it: the everyman isn’t inside the grocery store magazine. Many of the people we idolize inside those magazines (in my opinion) would gladly exchange their fame for, at the very least, anonymity, and, if honest, a chance at the life of an Everyman.
~~~~Andrew Harkless, writing coming-of-age stories (regardless of the age) about everyman characters who reach extraordinary crossroads where change is the only path. No matter how average a person may seem at first glance, everyone holds a remarkable story inside. My goal is to write stories for the Everyman about the Everyman.
Didn’t I see you on Facebook?