When I was a boy, my mother pulled out a record and book set from Disney. The story told on the record, and in the book, was “The Little Engine that Could”. It’s an old story that has had many variations. Each variation adding or subtracting themes wanting to be passed along to young people. But through all of these themes, one remains constant.
Stories are like this, even writers can be like this. Some have one major theme they want to impart, and the story is just dressing for that ideology. While other writers and stories have many themes and/or ideologies more inline with reality.
However a story is told, it needs a core to revolve around. This many be a character, an ideology, a place, anything. There may be many electrons orbiting the nucleus, but there is always a nucleus.
The nucleus of “The Little Engine that Could” is perseverance. This story, that nucleus, has never left me. Some ideas are like that. The Little Engine is a great story, for no other reason than it contains something that resonates so strongly with every person on the planet who has ever lived.
We all understand the need for perseverance, it’s the basis of our survival instincts. You don’t survive by laying down and giving up. You don’t learn by never trying. You don’t accomplish by refusing to try.
Learning to write has contained so many struggles for me. Everything from rules of grammar, to facing demons, which one demon was tied to rules of grammar. All through this, I have held onto one thing. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
I am climbing that mountain with the belief in myself that I can reach the top, then it’s all downhill from there. I have no delusions that success will be easy. It wasn’t easy for that little engine, and it won’t be so for me. But I think I can, and I still have plenty of steam.