Today is the official kick-off of the 2nd Annual Women's Lit Event here at Lost in Books! Throughout the month I will be featuring bloggers and authors who will share with us about their love of women in literature and women who write literature. I am so excited to have this event again this year and I hope you will join me all month long to celebrate!
Today I want to welcome indie YA author Jade Varden (I love her Deck of Lies series!) discussing great women writers who, for one reason or another, almost never got published.
Greatest Women Authors Who Almost Never Got Published
We know their names and their work well today, but some of the most famous female authors almost became women you never heard of. Through stubbornness and sheer luck, their words did get published...but their struggles prove that it's never easy.
A noted recluse, Emily Dickinson wrote heart-wrenching poetry from the privacy of her bedroom for the duration of her life. It wasn't until Emily died that some 1,700 poems were discovered in a box by her sister Vinnie. Emily had left instructions that her papers should be burned, but lucky for the world Vinnie ignored this request.
She gave the poems to a family friend instead. She typed up the poems, and a friend of Emily's helped to get them published in 1893. The rest is history.
Goaded Into It
Though she was a journalist by trade, Margaret Mitchell only published one book in her lifetime. Because that book was Gone With the Wind, no one has ever held this against her.
How she started writing that book is the stuff of legend. According to one story, Margaret began to get bored following a 1926 ankle injury. She was at her home reading all the time, and burned through the books in the Carnegie Library in Atlanta. Her husband brought her a typewriter instead of a new novel, and told her to write her own book. Another version of the story says that a friend told Margaret she could never write a book, so she set about to prove him wrong. Perhaps both stories are true.
Either way, circumstances came together to push Margaret Mitchell into writing a book. She did.
Never Too Late
Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't get many opportunities to write while living on the frontier. Her life depended on bringing crops out of the ground, and it didn't leave much time for recreation until her daughter, Rose, was a grown-up woman living in San Francisco. Rose Wilder Lane was a reporter by trade, and encouraged her mother to start writing as well.
The resulting manuscript, Pioneer Girl, was resoundingly rejected. Wilder spent the next few years re-working the manuscript. She switched to first-person perspective, changed the title and worked hard on the mechanics of the writing itself -- all with Rose's encouragement and aid. Without that influence, it's possible Pioneer Girl would have simply died.
Instead, Laura Ingalls Wilder made history. Her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1932. It spawned a hit series, a hit television series and a long legacy that's made Laura Ingalls Wilder a very well-known author. She completed her last book in 1943, at age 76.
It takes a certain magic mixture of perseverance, willpower and luck to get published, and there are some women authors who only just managed to make it happen. Some of them never wanted to be authors, or well-known, in the first place. But all of them wrote beautiful words, and they'll be remembered for ever.
About the Author
Jade Varden writes young adult novels for teen readers. When she’s not crafting mysteries in her books, Jade also blogs practical writing tips for authors who self-publish. Jade currently makes her home in Louisville, Kentucky, where she enjoys reading and reviewing indie books by other self-published authors. Follow her on Twitter @JadeVarden. Visit Jade’s blog at jadevarden.blogspot.com for reviews, writing tips, self-publishing advice and everything else you ever wanted to know about reading and writing books.