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"Losing All of His Manuscripts" - by Rev. Weldon Bares

Ken Burns has an excellent three-part series on the great American writer, Ernest Hemingway.

When Hemingway was starting out and somewhat struggling to succeed as a writer, he experienced something very unfortunate.

While on a train trip, he accidentally left behind at the station a suitcase which contained all of his manuscripts. He never found the suitcase. These were manuscripts he had been working on for two years. His plan was to publish a book with these manuscripts. He was so upset. He simply could not imagine re-writing all of this. This was a disaster.

Hemingway was good friends with the poet Ezra Pound. He told him about his misfortune. Ezra Pound thought about it, and then said that this could actually be something good. He told Hemingway that if he would write the stories a second time, he would forget about the weak parts and the new version would be even better than the old one. By doing this, he encouraged Hemingway to begin again with confidence and optimism.

Ernest Hemingway rewrote the stories. Over time he became one of the greatest writers of American literature. He simply needed to hear someone say that he could do it.

Sometimes, that is exactly what we need. Our struggles and problems can seem so large, but they can be overcome. We just need the confidence to keep on going.

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