Someone posted this photo of Louisa May Alcott on Pinterest recently. The caption read, “Louisa May Alcott at the desk where she wrote Little Women.”
So I looked at her desk and I noticed how very small it was. I glanced down at my own desk and it is at least double the size of hers. Of course mine is covered with a desktop monitor, keyboard (that I specifically picked out because of the ease of striking the keys), a giant lamp, piles of small notebooks and about ten various colored flash drives scattered around in the nooks and crannies.
Then it occurred to me how many luxuries I have compared to Louisa May. Even just having electricity and air conditioning would be an improvement for her. I glanced across my office and there’s Louisa sitting across from me in the chair.
“What the hell’s your problem? Look at all this crap in here. Tons of books…telling you how to write books, a computer…it is cool in here. What is your excuse for not having written a book yet?” she asked.
“Listen old lady, there is something called Facebook that has a game called Candy Crush and it distracts me. Not to mention, there is football on TV. Oh yea, you don’t know about TV but it is freaking awesome. There are all these shows to watch and I cannot live without watching The Walking Dead…zombies rule,” I replied.
“Unless something has drastically changed in the past 120 years, zombies don’t exist, further proving my point that you are an idiot wasting your time watching a show about something that doesn’t exist and cannot exist. If my buddy Thoreau was around he would beat your ass for all this nonsense,” she said.
“Thoreau can suck it because he would watch The Walking Dead too if he were alive now. Look, I have this fancy cell phone and I can play games on it and take pictures of the food I am eating and share it on Facebook. I have stuff to do. Important stuff. I am busy. Have you heard of Pinterest? “I asked.
“You take pictures of the food you are eating???? What has this country come to???? Chanin, look at that photo again. I am writing on a notebook. I am wearing a damn dress that is so tight around my bosom I cannot breathe. You would shit if you had to wear a dress all the time. My desk is tiny. It was 100 degrees that day and my thighs were sweaty and sticking together but I was writing, damn it. So this is the advice I am leaving you…block out the distractions. Go out in the woods with a notebook and a pencil and write. Leave your phone at home. Stop making excuses,” said Louisa.
“OMG, have you not read my blog??? I HATE BEING OUTSIDE. And bugs…I cannot have wasps around when I am trying to concentrate. I will see what I can do to focus more on writing but you had it easy back in the day because you could only play horseshoes and knit wool shit for fun.”
So I sat and thought about what the ghost of old Louisa May had to say and finally I had a brilliant idea…
I can write in my storm shelter.
No bugs, no distractions. I could leave my phone in the house and disappear for hours at a time. Carry down a snack tray and I have a desk. It is cold down there so I will bundle up. This could work…it really could and all because of Louisa May Alcott.
Watch out people…I will soon be on the Bestsellers List.