Living by the Pen

       Mrs. Austen: Affection is desirable. Money is absolutely indispensable.
       Jane: I could live by my...
      Mrs. Austen: Your what?
      Jane: I could live by my...        
     Mrs. Austen: Pen?
 
I really enjoy the movie Becoming Jane, but there’s one part that makes me so very, very sad (and also makes me want to slap people).

In a nutshell, it’s this: At varying points, both Jane and Tom had the power to choose happiness, choose love, if only they had the faith and courage to live by her pen.

The hopeless romantic in me dies a little each time, knowing from history and hindsight, that if they’d taken that leap, they might have made it. By some estimates, the money Jane received from Sense & Sensibility was three times her typical annual allowance, and the same was true for Pride & Prejudice.

But my point in this post isn’t to re-examine history or Jane Austen’s love life. It’s to encourage each of us, if we’re faced with a similar decision to seize it! That’s not to say go out tomorrow and quit your day job, but don’t give up on the dream either.

I think there’s a way to “live by the pen” without worrying about the actual dollars we do or don’t bring in.

It all comes down to having the will and the fight in us to keep writing, even when times get hard.

14 comments:

  1. You're right, it depends how you define "living". Money is sort of a moot point really, as most of us are probably never going to earn a full-time living from writing. But that's where I feel truly alive, which I've never got from any day job. Nice post!

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  2. That looks like an interesting movie. The internal rewards I get from writing are my primary motivators.

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  3. Live by the pen!

    I did enjoy that movie. It bothers me too, though, when I see characters afraid to take a chance on happiness. But I suppose it's realistic, if not a little tragic.

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  4. Aww, that is sad. Of course, it's always easier to figure out what to do after the fact.

    "Live by the pen!" - I like that. :)

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  5. "Live by the pen!" I'll cheer that!

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  6. This movie broke my heart! I loved it but found the resolution so tragic... I think that love requires courage. It doesn't matter if it is love for someone else, or for something else (like writing), to love is to be courageous enough to fight against the current not knowing if you'll succeed. The satisfaction is knowing you left it all in the line, even if you didn't make it. There's no tragedy in trying, just in letting go.

    Great post!

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  7. I couldn't agree more! I try not to think about the happiness that was missed out on . . . but I will live without regrets!

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  8. I know! It is very sad and hard to watch. :(

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  9. I died through out that movie too ;) Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  10. Awesome. Movies about writers ... can't get enough of them. If you've never seen Midnight in Paris, we really enjoyed that one, too. :)

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  11. I too like books and movies about authors - especially struggling ones because they're close to home! I haven't seen this one, but it looks like I should and take a packet of tissues with me. I found you via David P. King's blog so I thought I'd pop in, follow and say hello :-)

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  12. Oh goodness. I needed to hear this today. Thanks!

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