I just read The Alpine Path by L. M. Montgomery. It’s the story of her life focusing on her writing career.
She did not remember a time when she wasn’t writing. She got her first stuff published when she was a girl, but it took forever before her first book, Anne of Green Gables, was accepted. It was sent out, resent, sent again, and rejected a lot. But finally it got accepted. Even after her success, she still had to be persistent and send out things many times before they found a home. So, the lesson from this is that all writers need to be persistent. Even the best ones.
It also seems that, in many ways, she WAS Anne Shirley. No, she wasn’t an orphan. But she grew up on Prince Edward Island and loved it just as much as Anne. She even had the habit of naming ordinary things romantic names and seeing the magic in everyday places. Most of her stories seem to have had their seed, at least, in real events that happened in her life or the lives of those she knew. So, the lesson there is to pay attention to everything around you. It can provide inspiration for your work.
It also has a long section that’s essentially a travel log from her honeymoon trip to Europe. That’s kind of nice to read, but doesn’t really have much to do with her writing.
I’m always surprised how long ago she lived and wrote. Her books do not seem to be set so very long ago, except when fashion or current events are mentioned. The language she writes in and her character’s motivations are not so very archaic. Sure, there are some unfamiliar words and phrases, but not so much that it’s at all difficult to read or to identify with the characters. I love her writing.
On a side point, I really appreciate the nook’s built-in dictionary. The vocabulary used back then contains some words I’m not familiar with and the ability to immediately look them up as I read is wonderful.
Back on topic, The Alpine Path is something worthwhile for any aspiring author to read.