I caught the end of a PBS special on Louisa May Alcott the other night. What surprised me about her was that she earned a great deal of money - more than Herman Melville - by writing juvenile fiction. She wrote for a living and much of what she wrote, according to the documentary, she did not enjoy.
The money did not start pouring in right away. She wrote extensively for magazines and had her first novel, FLOWER FABLES, published when she was 22. However, LITTLE WOMEN became her first "best seller".
Louisa May Alcott did not have an easy life - even after she started earning a great deal of money. Actually, I don't believe anyone has an "easy" life. After overcoming poverty, over the years Alcott had to deal with health issues and the deaths of family members. She even raised her niece after artist sister, May, died.
Overcoming challenges and conflicts - that is what makes stories interesting. And, experience is a good teacher.
I hope that this coming year finds us in a season of peace and prosperity. So that we can take the time to frame our experiences and create stories that tell the truth, keep readers engaged and reflect excellence. Here's to the Louisa May Alcott's in the making.