As we ply our trade, often alone, often confused, it can help to know that other writers felt the same way. I came across this description of her early writing days penned by Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and a triple threat: she wrote short stories, plays, and beloved novels like Showboat and Giant, many of which were made into films:
“I settled down as best I could to write a certain number of hours daily in a bedroom with the family life swirling around me. Here there was no convenient spidery little lean-to off the dining room into which I could creep. I made no elaborate arrangements for my daily stint of writing because I didn’t regard myself as a writer. I just wrote. I worked in a bedroom because I didn’t dream of affording a separate workroom. Sometimes I thought vaguely that it would be marvelous to work without interruption, but this actually seemed beyond my imagination. It is a curious thing about writers. Some of us work heartbreakingly hard, like stevedores, like truck drivers, like slaves, and we get a few hundred dollars a year for our pains. Some of us work heartbreakingly hard, like stevedores, like truck drivers, like slaves, and we get a quarter of a million a year (some years). But the difficulty in getting a room and decent privacy in which to accomplish the earning of our living is almost insurmountable. People don’t understand. One’s family mysteriously doesn’t understand. It all seems so easy — a typewriter, or a pencil and a piece of paper. Nothing to be fussy about. For years my mother spoke of my work as ‘Edna’s typewriting.’ The fact that creative writing is a good deal like having a baby every day for so many hours daily doesn’t occur to the layman, and he wouldn’t believe you if you told him.”
This passage is from A Peculiar Treasure, Edna’s autobiography. Inspired and emboldened by our fellow scribe, let’s all write on!