Last weekend, I lurked around the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, watching as hopeful attendees took classes and faced dreaded pitching appointments with editors and agents.
When you walk through those halls, you can almost feel the weight of all the ambitions and hopes, from the multi-published author struggling with doubt to the aspiring novelist who clings to a dream that seems impossible to the writer who’s facing rejection or anxiety or comparison.
And it reminded me of the tower of Babel and a hip-hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton.
If the second half of that sentence sounds strange, then you’ve probably never heard of Broadway megahit Hamilton. I can’t universally endorse it if you’re bothered by strong language, but the story is compelling, the word play is ridiculously clever, and Washington’s cabinet meetings are rap battles.
Thematic Cliff Notes (no spoilers): Hamilton struggles throughout with a desperate need to leave a legacy, one that drives him to work harder than his peers…and neglect his family and make some incredibly stupid choices. “I am not throwing away my shot” and “Just you wait” are his constant, almost desperate-sounding refrains. He’s determined to make a name for himself, whatever the cost.
In contrast, I give you George Washington: “Let me tell you what I wish I’d known when I was young and dreamed of glory. You have no control: who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”
Of the two characters, guess who has the best perspective on this one? (more…)