Any artist who is working toward the goal of earning their living via their art will often refer to the following quote by Thomas Edison:
“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
But even with that 99% perspiration, success is not always guaranteed.
In the early 1990’s, writer Lee Israel‘s career was in the toilet. Unable to maintain another form of employment and living in New York City, she started forging and selling letters from famous writers who have passed on. Things went well until the law was onto her scheme. Her story is told in the 2008 memoir, Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger and the movie, Can You Ever Forgive Me? starring Melissa McCarthy that was released earlier this year.
I loved this book. Lee Israel was a woman who pulled no punches and meant every word that she said. While the way she brought in income was not exactly legally or morally sound, the woman had guts. She created fiction in a way that was still writing, even if she broke a few rules along the way.
I recommend it.