Today is February 3 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “are you open to the life that is waiting for you?” Richard George Adams was born in 1920 and studied history in college and served England in World War II. After being released from the army in 1946, Adams returned to Worcester College to finish his degree.
After graduation in 1948 Adams joined the British Civil Service, rising to the rank of Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, later part of the Department of the Environment. It was during this period that he began writing fiction in his spare time at 46 years of age. During a car trip Adams created a story about two young rabbits escaping from their doomed warren to entertain his daughters Juliet and Rosamond during long car journeys.
Believing that their father had a story others would like to know, his daughters insisted that he publish it as a book. He began writing in 1966, taking two years to complete. In 1972, after four publishers and three writers' agencies turned down the manuscript, Rex Collings agreed to publish the work entitled Watership Down.
The book gained international acclaim almost immediately for reinvigorating anthropomorphic fiction with naturalism. Asked if he enjoyed writing it, his response was quick and pithy. "No, I hated it. To be quite frank, writing is bloody hard work. But I did enjoy that I had the guts to persevere with it."
As Joseph Campbell noted “We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Adams never intended to be a writer and he certainly never thought he would be an international best seller. He remained open to the life that was waiting for him. Are you?