Emile Zola was a famous French writer, who was not only famous in France but also was known for his works worldwide. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1901 and 1902. He earned a lot of fame in his life but when it came to money, he struggled for it throughout his life.
A writer asked him once, “Mr. Zola, how did you survive in so much poverty? And how did you become such a great writer in spite of facing such an acute financial crisis?”
Zola answered, “It is true that I have always faced financial problems. How will I run the house, has been one of the most difficult questions for me. I kept writing as I earned some money through it and whenever there was a financial problem staring at my face, I would often channelize all my attention in reading and writing to ease the problem. I always believed that even without money, I could live my life – it was not a barrier, but I knew that without writing I could never stay alive!”
“A man can live without writing. But without money, you cannot eat and without eating, you cannot live. It is not possible,” the writer told Zola.
“One egg was my breakfast in the morning. During the day, I managed by eating cheap fruits. It was impossible to completely fill my stomach with food, I couldn’t afford it. During the winter, forget about the money for food, I didn’t even have enough money to buy firewood and burn it to keep me warn during the night. That is when I used to sit writing in the light of a burning candle. That gave me all the warmth I needed because I forgot all about the freezing cold when my attention was focused on writing,” Zola answered.
“Didn’t you ever regret not having money in such situations, Mr. Zola?”
“No, never”, Zola smiled and said, “In fact, it was because of my poverty that I could create so much literature. Whenever hunger troubled me, I used to resort to writing. Whenever the cold bothered me, it was writing that gave me the warmth.”
If we learn to live like Émile Zola, we can use our troubles in our favour instead of crying over it. There are only two ways to fight a bad phase in life, either by crying and whining or by smiling, growing and learning through it. You have to make the choice.