Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quote of the Day, 8/3/06

I daresay I have enough quotes in the entry below, but as I've commited to the quote-a-day rule, I'll give this a go....

My blog's been very King-y lately, so I'm putting him aside for a bit to look elsewhere for good things. Tonight, I'm turning to Louisa May Alcott, and the following entry from her journal in 1868 (The Journals of Louisa May Alcott). This was a few months before she wrote Little Women, when she was still struggling to make her writing pay the bills.
I am sorry to leave my quiet room, for I've enjoyed it so much.

Written eight long tales, ten short ones, read stacks of manuscripts, and done editorial work. Acted for charity twelve times.

Not a bad two month's work. I can imagine an easier life, but with love, health, and work I can be happy, for these three help one to do, to be, and to endure all things.
People may have the impression that, while writing all those girl-books, Alcott must have been living a sheltered life, cared for by her parents and able to focus on her writing for the pure joy of it. The fact is, Alcott churned out her writing like a one-woman manufacturing plant; she wrote for a paying audience, not for herself, and she did it to support her parents, herself, her sisters, and her sisters' kids. Even after she became successful and independently wealthy, even after she became chronically and debilitatingly ill, she continued to work her craft as a business. And one more little-known fact: when she sat down to write Little Women, she said, "I plod away, though I don't enjoy this sort of thing. Never liked girls, or knew many...." (I added the emphasis.)

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