Penning the pandemic
What to do when you’ve failed again and again and you’re feeling lower than a snake’s belly?
F. Scott Fitzgerald sat down and wrote a book.
The book followed a series of failures. He dropped out of Princeton because of poor grades. He spent time in the Army during World War I but never saw combat or went overseas, which he strongly desired to do. He had an advertising job that he hated. Publishing houses rejected his novel, “Thank You for the Light.” Southern socialite Zelda Sayre broke off their engagement because she was afraid he wouldn’t be able to provide well enough for her.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, named for writer Francis Scott Key, went home and began writing another book. Down but not out, he wrote “This Side of Paradise” and overnight became America’s hottest new novelist.
On her 13th birthday, while she and her family were hiding for their lives from the Nazis in a secret annex behind a revolving bookcase in an Amsterdam house, Anne Frank’s parents presented her with a red-checkered diary. That birthday gift became the most-read journal of all time. At 15, Anne Frank died of starvation and disease at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but her journal lives on, detailing life that speaks volumes for one million Jewish children the Nazis ruthlessly rounded up and murdered.
Now, we are experiencing the Pandemic of 2020. When your grandchildren study the pandemic in school and ask you, “Granny, what did you do in The Great Pandemic,” won’t you be proud to present them your first-person chronicle of how grocery shopping and funerals, school and church, sports and vacations changed so dramatically overnight?
Write? Right. Just sit down with a legal pad or laptop and make a beginning. Well begun, as Aristotle wrote, is half done.