Your Masterpiece

Which of your works would you consider to be your masterpiece? Is it the one you’ve slaved over for many years but never totally finished because you have to get it just right? Is it the one and only thing you’ve ever gotten published (even if it’s a haiku in a no-name literary journal)? Maybe it’s the one that’s given you the most personal or emotional fulfillment and you’re proud of yourself for having finished it because you never thought you would?

My favorite story has got to be SAMSON, probably because it was experimental, and I wrote whatever I wanted to without paying attention to whether the symbolism would make sense to anyone else reading it. The middle of the story involved one of the characters having a complete breakdown, and I wrote it in a different way from how I usually write (more stream-of-consciousness and less dialogue). I don’t know if I would call SAMSON my masterpiece, though, since I haven’t done much revision on it.

I’d reluctantly say that XIII is my masterpiece because I spent many sleepless nights (and blood, sweat, and tears) on it, it went through many drafts, and I incorporated a good moral/message into it. It’s not been fine-tuned yet, and because of personal circumstances, I doubt it ever will be, but it’s nice to look back through it and remember that I did in fact write it.

A masterpiece could also be a work of yours that’s affected a lot of other people or caused them to think deeply about a particular issue or aspect of life. So I could (humbly) say that this blog is my masterpiece because people have told me that what I post has affected them. After all, isn’t the entire point of writing to share your thoughts with others, to make others feel something, to make them consider things that they have not thought about before?

Anyway, thank you very much to my readers. I appreciate you hanging in there as I continue to post my rants and randomness. 🙂 So… what piece(s) of writing would you consider your masterpiece?

6 thoughts on “Your Masterpiece

  1. I tried to write a novel when i was maybe 20, eventually declared it a failure, threw away the manuscript, and went on to other things. Over 25 years later, I tried to write that novel again. It took me four years, and I knew all along that it was the one I was meant to write. The Last Titan is my masterpiece. It was also supposed to be my final novel, but I’ve come out of retirement for NaNoWriMo2015 (sequel to The Last Titan) and NaNoWriMo2016 (I love this first draft). But The Last Titan remains my masterpiece. I’m just having fun now.

    Meanwhile, I stopped writing The Last Titan halfway through to bang out a nonfiction book in three weeks. (It addresses similar themes.) One of my customers talked me into it. His ideas, my words, the only time I’ve ever had a co-author. I’ve gotten email about that book. It’s called Make A Difference: From Being Successful To Being Significant, and those emails literally say, “This book changed my life.” Since I agree with you in saying that’s why we write, and I have solid evidence that it did that, maybe it’s my masterpiece.

    Maggie, I’ve been serious about my writing and trying to create true greatness for over 40 years. I believe you still have time to change your mind several times about which of your works is YOUR masterpiece, and it could easily be something you haven’t written yet.

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    1. Very true. A “masterpiece” is in the eye of the beholder, too. A reader may consider a certain work of an author to be a masterpiece, while the author himself may dislike that particular work. So the other question would be… who determines which are the masterpieces? The author or the reader?

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  2. I always think of “masterpiece” in the future. When I paint my masterpiece, like in the Dylan song.

    That being said, I think the best thing I’ve written so far is Stevie One. Everything just clicked there. I think I’m generally getting better, but that doesn’t mean that every work is one neat step higher on the ladder.

    But Stevie One is a novella, and I do think of “masterpiece” as being big (though I know that it doesn’t necessarily have to be — you could certainly argue that James Joyce’s masterpiece is “The Dead” rather than Ulysses).

    If that’s true, maybe my masterpiece is U-town, my second novel. It’s certainly got “big” and it’s full of good stuff, though it’s not exactly tightly structured.

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    1. Stevie One was very good. 🙂 And in a way, every work of a single author could be a “masterpiece,” depending on what the readers think. Different readers may consider different works to be the “masterpiece”

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