This year at the RWA Atlanta conference, I made the pilgrimage like many other writers to Margaret Mitchell’s house. The irony of the situation did not escape me. Here was a woman who wrote only one book, but what a book it was. ‘Gone With The Wind’ was a Pulitzer Prize masterpiece whose impact to this day resonates.
Still she must have had her own demons. First, she almost didn’t submit her book to the publisher. Then she requested all her papers be destroyed upon her death. Since her husband complied with Margaret’s wishes, we don’t know what else she may have been working on at the time of her untimely death. However, what a legacy she left with the one book she completed.
As I toured Apartment One and listened to the guide, I did smother a smile when I saw the setup where Margaret wrote over one thousand pages of manuscript. So many discussions one hears at RWA conferences revolve around writers’ sometimes exacting requirements for a working environment [what music to play, not to play, etc.] Another form of a writing roadblock, yet here Margaret had set up shop with a manual typewriter on a small table facing the street.
While I attended a lot of great workshops and saw many wondrous sights on my road trip, the one thing that has motivated me the most was seeing Margaret’s house. She had a passion to be something and to reach for it. What she became was a writer and what a writer she was, demons and all,…even if it was only one book. What is your passion, insecurity and/or writing demon?
Her Dark Protector, 2013 EPIC and IDA finalist