Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812. This month marks his 200th birthday.
One of his most popular books—and my favorite—is A Christmas Carol. It has been loved by generations and made into many a movie.
I recently heard a radio segment about Dickens. NPR reported that in 1843 he wrote A Christmas Carol in a mere six weeks. (He was working to meet a deadline). Even more notable is that his first draft was also his final draft.
Although there were edits and deleted sections in this first and final version, what he wrote on his first pass was essentially what was published. In just six weeks, Dickens wrote a book that lived on longer than he, becoming a classic and delighting reader for 169 years—and most assuredly for many more.
While not every one of his efforts came into being so quickly or flowed with such relative ease, this one did. Such is what can happen when an experienced writer is inspired—and under a deadline.