This week in 1885, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in the United States. The author, Mark Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens), left school at 12 years old, worked as an apprentice printer, a writer and editor, and a steamboat pilot.
He led an interesting childhood as his river-side village saw many out-of-town visitors, circuses and travelling shows.
He moved out west as an adult and got a job as a reporter at a newspaper to pay the bills. He didn’t have any money or connections. He was just a regular guy.
Yet, Ernest Hemingway said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”
William Faulkner said Mark Twain was, “the first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs.”
Pretty amazing that someone without education, money or connections wrote a book that is studied in schools and colleges around the world, is seen by many as a masterpiece and has always been controversial.
Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Which is a piece of advice that all of us should take to heart.
He liked to write. He didn’t know he would go down in history as one of the best authors ever. But he did what he loved and the rest took care of itself.
He said, “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
Don’t wait until you know all the answers. Just know that you have what it takes and get started. Who knows what could happen if you follow the path you were destined to travel?
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