I laughed. I cried. I hit the rewind button several times so I could hear the brilliant dialogue. Most of my tears were because my heart ached for Jane and Tom. Some of my tears were because I worried my life would turn out like Jane's. Not the part where she writes several of the greatest novels in literature. No, that aspect of her life makes her one of my idols. I'm talking about the final scene where she finishes reading Pride and Prejudice, then folds her hands over her novel. The camera zooms in on the fact that she isn't wearing a wedding band.
Yup, that part almost sent me running for the Riesling.
In my Men Of Our Dreams post, I mentioned my fears about my fictitious crushes interfering with my real love life (or lack thereof). Now comes the next big smack in the face. Am I missing out on having an exciting "real life" because I spend hours upon hours alone writing about imaginary people, places, and plots? Perhaps.
However, one of my favorite parts of the movie put that worry into perspective.
In the scene I'm referring to, Lady Gresham (stuffy old broad) is attempting to get Jane and Mr. Wisley to spend quality time together. Suddenly Jane rushes over to a bench--ignoring her unwelcomed guests--and starts making notes in a notebook. I will quote the characters directly because it's much more brilliant that way.
Lady Gresham: What is she doing?We all know the answer. No. Nothing can be done about it. Not if you're a real writer.
Mr. Wisley: Writing.
Lady Gresham: Can anything be done about it?
Inspiration does not always strike at the most appropriate or convenient times. Writers may have to decline social invitations, lose sleep, skip meals, and miss out on time with friends and family. Sometimes we can't ignore our ideas, or not write them down just because we have company. Or a job. Or chores to do. Many writers give up certainty and security in exchange for a great deal of uncertainty and solitude. Why?
This next quote hit very close to home.
Jane: You live so quietly, and yet your novels are filled with romance, danger, and terror.Real life beckons, enticing me with possibilities of who I might meet, things I could do, places I should visit. Instead, I quietly curl up on my couch and dive back into creating my latest novel. It may never be published. It may never be read by anyone but a few people close to me, and most likely won't ever make me wealthy or famous. Yet I grab my laptop and happily write anyway. Why? Because I'm a writer, and nothing can be done about it.
Mrs. Radcliffe (the Authoress): Everything my life is not...Of what do you wish to write?
Jane: Of the heart.
Mrs. Radcliffe: Do you know it?
Jane Austen: Not all of it.
Mrs. Radcliffe: In time, you will. But even if that fails, that's what the imagination is for.