I love the opening scenes of Becoming Jane in which Anne Hathaway in seen in the character of a young Jane Austen, madly scribbling at her desk as the day dawns, sunlight streaming in the large windows. The scenes are so serene, and yet there is an energy in them that makes me want to rise with the chickens to do my own scratching! And on some mornings, like this one, I do.
Writing can be something of a compulsive calling, and you can certainly sense something of Jane's compulsion in these scenes! As the embellished story of her love life develops, you begin to see how her writing helps her make sense of reality, allowing her opportunity for reflection and introspection and some chance of creating an ideal life, even if it is a fictional one.
I think I've always idealized the writer's life because it is a life that appears to make more sense than other lives. It's not that it actually does make more sense, though. Writers, after all, are people, and like other people, they are often beset by a whole host of personal problems that no ideal life would include. For Jane Austen, it was tedious neighbors and the absence of Mr. Darcy with his ten thousand pounds per annum that were troublesome to her. Great writers, such as Austen, are dedicated to exploring the questions of what the human experience is all about, and their explorations and discoveries, not to mention their own lives, provide reference points to others of us who feel we are groping our way through the fog.
**Please note: my reference to Becoming Jane is not necessarily an endorsement of the film. If you want the full review, just ask.