Some writers, musicians, and artists are incredibly prolific during their lifetime. But what about the one-time wonders or those who die young? Margaret Mitchell wrote only one book, but that book was Gone With the Wind, and people are still reading it, 80 years later. Maybe they’ll be reading it 800 years later, who knows. Still … Mitchell died in her late forties, but surely she had enough time to crank out a sequel, right? Why didn’t she?
What if all you do is just one incredibly beautiful thing during your lifetime – does that mean you have lived a successful life? I think it does. If Janis Joplin had only sung one song and that song was Summertime, wouldn’t that justify her short existence? I think it does – art is like that. Sometimes just one thing is enough. Maybe that’s one reason Joplin checked out so early – how could she top Summertime?
These are the things I remind myself of when my internal critics try to tell me that I need to write more, and more, and more, because whatever I have done so far is not enough. I do not have to be a Shakespeare or a Danielle Steele.