All writers are inspired–at one point or another–to write. But I’m not at all sure how many of them recall the exact moment when they defintively decided to become a writer. Maybe every writer does.
I was in college, sitting in a tan corduroy armchair reading a paperback copy of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. There was an oversized “Devil’s Haircut” poster on the wall behind me and a forest green, low pile carpet under my feet. It was past time for a good vacuuming.
It was my second reading of the book; the first had come in high school. I was a fan of it in the tenth grade but by the time I got to college I’d decided I needed to read it again.
I proceeded to go from Brave New World to Brave New World Revisited. This led to Island, The Doors of Perception, and Heaven and Hell. But it was the caste system (Alphas, Betas, Deltas, etc.) described in Huxley’s seminal work that gave me my eureka moment.
I believed that if I was able to see society the way Huxley did, then writing should be my vocation. If I’d known what that meant at the time, I might have questioned this thinking a bit.
I’ve returned to Brave New World since. And it’s predictions and social commentary remain significant to me. Although I haven’t gotten there yet, I hope to modernize the sci-fi classic. Of course, I won’t be able to call it Brave New World Revisited. That one’s taken.
photo: Joshua Coleman