My niece had to read Jane Eyre for her Language Arts class. She was foolish enough to ask her Auntie Lisa’s opinion of this fine piece of English Literature. As I dramatically recited the barrage of passages I have memorized from the book, (“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?”) she rolled her eyes only the tiniest bit. Such restraint in one so young.
She thought she might write a paper with the thesis that Bronte was trying to create her perfect fantasy world when she wrote Jane Eyre. I agreed the book may have had elements of wish-fulfillment for Bronte. My clever niece then said to me, in her forthright manner, “Isn’t that why all writers write? Because they’re unhappy and they want to create a happier world to inhabit? You’re a writer, do you think that’s true?”
Hmmm. I don’t think this is why I write. I think do it because I enjoy the process. Some people find it relaxing to string beads, design scrapbooks or subject innocent bystanders to their surgery photos. Me, I like to play with words. Also, I desperately want a job for which pajamas are the best work outfit, the standards for hygiene are low enough that weekly showers would suffice, and no one would yell at me because they can’t understand the level of technology represented by the lowly copy machine.
Then again, The Lisas do tend to favor the “happily ever after” endings. We don’t do angsty literary stuff. So maybe my niece is on to something, at least when it comes to our narrow, blinders-firmly-in-place world view. Or the fact that a couple of our main characters actually like exercise.
The cherry on the icing on the sundae cake will be sharing our sunny outlook with the public at large. Or we can stay in our pajamas, eating sundae cake and become our own large public, whichever comes first. (Hint: Agents take pity or beware, we may eat you.)