Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do You Make the Most of Your Downtime?

Dear Friends,

Do You Make the Most of Your Downtime?

Twenty-six-year old Peggy was forced to leave her job and convalesce at home because of arthritis in her ankles and feet. She spent her time reading in bed, until one day her husband, John, brought her a used Remington typewriter instead of her requested library books. He told his wife that she’d read just about every book in the public library, and she should get started on writing her own because he was tired of lugging home the heavy historical tomes she preferred.

So Peggy began writing a book, starting with the last chapter. Slowly, the pages piled up, and her friends jokingly referred to it as “the great American novel.” Over the next nine years, 70 more chapters would make their appearances in no particular order – sometimes typed, sometimes handwritten, sometimes scribbled on the back of laundry lists. She kept parts of the manuscript in bureaus, in desks, and on closet shelves.

Then Peggy met a vice president of McMillan, the book publishing company. He was in her area scouting for new talent and had been tipped off by a mutual acquaintance about Peggy’s writing. They met, but the writer was shy about promoting her manuscript. When she later confessed to a friend that she hadn’t even talked about her book with the publisher, her friend chided her: “You don’t take your life seriously enough to be a novelist.” This cutting remark spurred Peggy to make a late-night call to the publisher’s hotel and arrange to drop off the manuscript. He had to buy a suitcase to carry it back to New York.

The book sold one million copies in its first six months. Today, more than 30 million copies of the book have been sold, with approximately 250,000 copies still selling each year. The book was made into a blockbuster film and also won Peggy a Pulitzer Prize.

Who was Peggy? She was better known to her fans as – Margaret Mitchell. And her book, published in 1936, is Gone With The Wind.

Now, there’s someone who made the most of her downtime.

On Your Team
Jeffrey Stanton
Your Trusted Advisor For Life

P.S. What do you do with your downtime? Please let us know...

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