Louisa wrote at a desk built for her by her father. It circled the window and there she sat writing throughout the light hours of the day.
Emerson wrote all morning at the desk in his study. In the afternoon he walked to Walden; in the evening he chatted with friends in the parlor.
We were told that Louisa’s mother worked extremely hard both inside and outside the home, cooking, cleaning, and sewing, thus giving her daughter time to write. Thankfully the family reaped the benefits of their hard work, for with the publication of Little Women, Louisa was able to support the family financially.
The Emersons were not poor, nor were the rich. Waldo (as Emerson requested to be called) supported the family with lyceum talks he gave in New England and beyond. He had time to develop his thoughts and plan his talks, time to read, write, think, and discuss with others because, in part, his wife Lydian cared for the children and managed those hired to help in the household. That was the family social structure in the mid-nineteenth century.
My point is that these two writers had TIME and permission to write without the burden of many of the distractions we have today. It’s a different world, so we have to manage our time in different ways. Now is now, then was then.
I wrote about this October 2017 here.