Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Excuse me, Jane?
To write something good must've been so much easier 200-some-odd years ago, don't you think? Because 200 years ago, no one had penned the words, "It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen," or "All this happened, more or less." In fact, at that point, no one had even written, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
200 years ago, you had nothing to live up to. You had nothing to be compared to. The dictionary had only been out for a couple of centuries, so you didn't even have to spell everything correctly, really. Did editors exist? I'm pretty sure they didn't, and if editors didn't exist, you didn't have to do anything right or go through a long, exhausting process in which some well-educated, well-read, uppity businessperson (not that there is anything wrong with being well-educated, well-read, uppity and having an MBA) said things like, "This chapter isn't exactly adding anything to the story, so we're going to cut it," and you didn't have to agree, especially if you were in love with that chapter that wasn't exactly adding anything to the story, because editors didn't even exist yet, I don't think.
Writing wasn't the only easy thing 200 years ago. No one had to reply to text messages from people they didn't like or worry about gas prices. They got to go running through fields to reply to letters! I'm all for advancements in technology, but I'd have no objections to running through fields, replying to letters from people I might marry sometime soon.
(I obviously don't have an editor to tell me that that last paragraph wasn't adding anything to my post. (Because it wasn't.))
The point I'm getting at, though, is this one: At some point, somebody did sit down and write "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth," and somebody did sit down and write, "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show," (see what I did there?) and somebody did sit down and write, "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
Somebody did sit down, and somebody did write those things, and somebody did it because somebody was inspired, sitting there one day, thinking, "This is not for you."
Somebody wrote it. Somebody wrote it, and somebody's words were embedded in platinum and heralded as a classic.
Somebody wrote it. Somebody wrote it, and maybe that's what's important.
Somebody wrote it. Somebody wrote it, and who are we not to be that somebody?
Carrots help us see much better in the dark.
All my love,