Cambridge in March

Spending a little time in Cambridge this week, I began thinking of how many great authors/poets hail from the Boston area.  Louisa May Alcott, Anne Bradstreet, e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe (although Baltimore claims him also), and I need not continue.  Walking the streets alone is enough motivation you get you writing.

Boston has long been an academic haven, an area of intellectual circles that no doubt nurtured the creativity of the above writers.  It’s all about the environment from which you spring.

Or is it?  Think of the countless writers that had to overcome great obstacles just to write.  As literary rumor has it, Honoré de Balzac, famous author and playwright, actually died from an overdose of strong coffee and extreme exhaustion, attempting to work multiple jobs to support his writing habit.  Thriller Stephen King grew up in an impoverished family with a single mother who had to move around frequently to find work.

Here begins the age-old question of nature vs. nurture.  Does the urge to write come from the environment, or is it the inner will of the writer?