My dear fellow writers–you who walk about, as I do, feeling vaguely irritated that you are once more buying cat/dog food or human edibles, sending mail, fixing the eavestroughs, vacuuming, washing your car again without having sat down even once since the last time you did these things to work on your novel-in-progress (or your story/poem-in-progress)–consider, if you will, Charles Dickens.
“But he had time to write!” I hear you shriek. Granted.
If you are jealous of his example because the time to write led to a great writing reputation (I could have used Stephen King, couldn’t I have?), which led to money and more time to write, let us consider what Dickens had to contend with for his popularity.
When he made his journey to America by ship at what cannot be called anything other than the very height of fame, a dozen reporters hopped on board before the ship had moored. Pleasant enough. One reporter wrote,”He seemed like the Emperor of Cheerfulness on a cruise of pleasure, determined to conquer a realm or two of fun every hour.”
As quaint as that description may strike us now, it is quite true that invitations came pouring aboard his ship before he could disembark. Apparently Dickens was able to walk about freely the first night in Boston, with his friend the Earl of Mulgrave. After that, crowds pressed at him, cheering, staring, grabbing and shaking his hand (very hard), and cutting little bits of fur off his coat as souvenirs.
When he ate breakfast in the mornings, he had to autograph cards prepared for him by a secretary engaged to handle public relations. When he traveled by carriage, “heads were thrust in at the carriage window to gaze at him. ”  Eventually he had to start locking himself into a room while people pounded upon its door and yelled at him to come out.
In a letter Dickens wrote, “I can do nothing that I want to do, go nowhere where I want to go, and see nothing that I want to see. If I turn into the street, I am followed by a multitude. If I stay at home, the house becomes, with callers, like a fair. . . .”
For all that adulation, Dickens was not supported by the adoring Americans in his pursuit of the copyright law; he found himself alone in speaking up for it at the dinners given in his honor.
I have not even yet come to the thrill of all Dickens’ money, for I had to write first of fame.
 A word I learned while reading my Canadian fellow writer-friend Matthew Fries’ wonderful novella, Wake, available on Kindle.
 Mankowitz, Dickens of London.