Writers are great at excuses – for missing deadlines, not having enough time to write, missing their muse, why they'd be more productive with a different computer, software, chair, day job, office, life. Yeah, I'm guilty too.
So, sometimes it's instructive (and humbling) to consider those writers who really do have excuses – and don't use them, but instead accomplish something significant.
Like Laura Hillenbrand, who, because of chronic fatigue syndrome and severe vertigo, could only research and write Seabiscuit a few sentences at a time, sometimes in a reclining position with her eyes closed.* Or, Jean-Dominique Bauby, a victim of locked-in syndrome, who wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly one letter at a time, by blinking one eye in response to an alphabet chart held up by a therapist.
I was reminded about this today when I read the following in a brief interview:
"LO: Is there anything you’d like to accomplish that you haven’t gotten the chance to do yet?
PS: I’m working on a long poem. … I’d like to write a book on my teaching method, and I’m going to be writing a book about the fact that I’m dyslexic."
Dyslexic? Who is PS? Oh, that's just the Founder of the Writers Studio and 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Schultz.
* Hillenbrand's New Yorker essay about how she was first stricken and coped with her disease for 10+ years, can be found here.