Even Famous Writers Feel Frustration

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to New York City for a few days. While there, I made a trip to the Morgan Library and Museum. What a wonderful treat this turned out to be, especially for a writer.

On display were a number of letters from famous authors. Virginia Woolf, Percy Bysshe Shelley,  J.R.R. Tolkien and John Steinbeck. The latter two had the biggest impact on me.

In Tolkien’s letter to G. E. Selby, he writes how he “doesn’t much approve of The Hobbit, preferring [his] new mythology”.

Tolkien's letter to G.E. Selby

Tolkien’s letter to G.E. Selby

And Steinbeck, discussing The Grapes of Wrath in a letter to his friend Pare Lorentz, writes that he gets “pretty low about this book sometimes. It just seems lousy.” He later writes, “I do hope this g****** book is some good. It’s been hard enough work.”

Steinbeck's letter to Paul Lorentz

Steinbeck’s letter to Pare Lorentz

Wow. What an eye-opener. These huge, big-time authors felt frustration, too!

A good reminder for the next time the creative blahs set in.