Monday, February 15, 2010

Carpe Diem

Okay, so I'm not the first fan Louisa May Alcott ever had, nor the last. I'm probably not even her biggest fan. But if there's anyone I do admire, it's Louisa's grit. She wrote under duress rather than under inspiration, and many of her works which we enjoy were written simply to pay the bills. Necessity drove her to do one of the few things that she could do to help her family: write.

Now, it's not that Louisa didn't like writing. She did. She had done a ton of writing all through her youth and into her adult life, plus she had the advantage of proximity to some great minds. She probably would have written even if she hadn't needed the money. My point is, you don't have to be tucked away in a cozy study with a crackling fire in the fireplace in order to write. You don't have to be reclining at a table with a beach-side view of the ocean as soft and salty breezes waft your hair in order to write. You can write it in a virtual mad-house while kids holler at each other, crumpled paper balls fly, and the baby in the high chair sticks mashed banana in her hair.

No, the writing life is rarely picture perfect. Writers pay a price to write. It can be done under lousy conditions, and often is by those of us who still have other jobs. (I tend to think that this type of writing is better anyway since a busy life is chock full of material to write about.)

So if you're waiting for life to become ideal before you pick up a pen, don't bother. Carpe diem. Seize the day! Better yet, seize the computer! The time to write is now.

(I'll bet you guys thought I forgot to post today. Almost, but not quite.)

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