I have written two poems this week. A year ago I could not have written them, but now they came easily and naturally. This encourages me. Perhaps in the future I can achieve something worth while. I never expect to be famous–I don’t want to be, really, often as I’ve dreamed of it. But I do want to have a recognized place among good workers in my chosen profession. That, I honestly believe, is happiness and harder to win the sweeter and more lasting when won.
I really think that I possess the saving grace of perseverance. What failures and discouragements I used to meet at first when, in my teens, I sent out my wretched little manuscripts–for they were wretched, although I thought them quite fine–with an audacity I wonder at now. I cannot remember the time when I did not mean to be a writer ‘when I grew up’. I has always been my central purpose around which every hope and effort and ambition of my life has grouped itself.
…The moment we see our first darling brain child arrayed in black type is never to be forgotten. It must have in it, I think, some of the wonderful awe and delight that comes to a mother when she looks for the first time on the face of her first born.
It [ANNE OF GREEN GABLES] was a labor of love. Nothing I have ever written gave me so much pleasure to write. I cast “moral” and “Sunday School” ideals to the winds and made my “Anne” a real human girl… . There is plenty of incident in it but after all it must stand or fall by “Anne”. She is the book.
… I wrote it for love, not money — but very often such books are the most successful…
It seems that Anne is a big success. It is a “best seller” and is in its fifth edition — I cannot realize this. My strongest feeling seems to be incredulity. I can’t believe that such a simple little tale, written in and of a simple P.E.I. farming settlement, with a juvenile audience in view, can really have scored out in the busy world. I have had so many nice letter about it — and no end of reviews. Most of them were very flattering. Three or four had a rather contemptuous tone and three were really nasty.
One of the reviews says “the book radiates happiness and optimism.” When I think of the conditions of worry and gloom and care under which it was written I wonder at this. Thank God, I can keep the shadows of my life out of my work. I would not wish to darken any other life — I want instead to be a messenger of optimism and sunshine.