There are various ways for writers to reach success. But two factors are essential for them to do so – love and strong will.
Many years ago, an old woman writer told me about her first love. It was in the time of war against Japanese aggressors. She joined the Communist-led Eighth Route Army at the age of 14. The branch of troops to which she belonged stayed at a village. She was then secretly in love with a young soldier several years her senior. One day the soldier was sent to the front. She went with others to see him off. She knew it was quite possible that he would never return. She could not and dared not express the surging love and tremendous sorrow when she walked in the rear of the sending-off crowd. They went along the wall surrounding a farm house at the end of the village. It was a rammed-earth wall commonly seen in the north of China. As she walked, she subconsciously cut with the nail of her thumb on the wall, leaving a long line on it. The marked line stretched to the end of the wall, and seemingly went beyond it, disappearing into the fields where the back shadows of the soldier vanished. At last the news came of his death on the battlefield. The girl went every day to look at the line cut deep on the wall. It bore witness to her first love.
Even today, more than 50 years later, as an 80-year-old writer she still felt hot at her thumb when she thought of her first love. I kept in mind the unique scorching-hot thumb that symbolizes the simple and pure love of the woman writer. This carefully-concealed pure love is something universal, capable to be felt and understood by every human mind, no matter what race or nationality it belongs to.
When I sit at my desk and pick up the pen, I'm often involuntarily reminded of the woman writer's first love. It sets me thinking a lot.
If a writer is not honest about his language and feelings; if he is affected or put on an act; if what he writes is what he doesn't mind or believe his works will naturally not be cared for, no matter who the reader is, whether he is his fellow townsman or he lives in a foreign country. When this unpleasantness occurs, we should not shift responsibilities, blaming "All this is the fault of globalization". Neither the belief "The West is supreme" nor the narrow-minded nationalism will do anything good for literature's development and progress. In the clamor of globalization, we should have the courage to emphasize love and strong will, and be able to produce writings with physical warmth like the hot thumb told by that woman writer, a vivid expression of the writer's personal feelings.
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