Shakespeare didn’t have toilet paper

As I was thinking about how to frame this month’s post, I came across the following tweet from Roseanne Cash. 

Shakespeare also didn’t have laptops, central heating or electric lights. What he did have was free and easy access to his imagination. 

Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it?

Many writers will use this period of self-isolation as a reason to avoid doing their work. That’s not what a professional writer’s life is about. A pro is at her best regardless of what’s going on around her. She shows up to work and gives the best that she has to give that day. 

Some days it goes well, some days it doesn’t. 

Certainly, at the moment there may be a different routine with different challenges. The children may be home, social activities may be cancelled, there may be a heightened sense of anxiety in the air. 

In spite of all that, we still have free and easy access to our imaginations. And that, along with a pen and paper, is all a professional author needs to do her job. 

After all, there’ll always be something we can point to as a reason not to do our writing (or to exercise, or eat properly, or accomplish whatever goal we’ve set for ourselves.)

A professional writer’s life is about calmly observing the tempest and the things swirling around in it, and using it as inspiration for a story. It’s about tapping into the imagination. It’s about showing up and doing the best work possible in the moment, regardless of what’s happening in the outside world. 

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women