Cindy and I recently had the opportunity to tour the home of the late Ernest Hemingway, the author of classics such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “A Farewell to Arms,” and “The Old Man and the Sea.” He is remembered as one of the finest American authors of the 20th century. The experience was mesmerizing, and the two hours or so we were there hardly seemed like enough time. Were it not for a prior commitment that particular afternoon, I’m certain we would have stayed until we were asked to leave.    

Being an aspiring writer, I’m always anxious to learn what makes other writers tick. I found out that Hemingway—‘Papa’—and I have a few things in common:

 Then again, there are a lot of things Hemingway and I don’t have in common:

I spent a lot of time examining every square inch of Hemingway’s writing studio, untouched since his death almost 50 years ago. There were leather bound books neatly aligned on the shelves, exquisite art adorning the walls, and sitting directly in the center of the room, the table and chair where Hemingway sat with his fingers on the keyboard of his trusty portable Royal typewriter composing some of the most eloquent prose in American literature day after day for the better part of a decade. I could almost see his words appearing on the blank piece of paper as it passed through the carriage of the typewriter.  

As for me, I too have a writing studio (technically an office I share with my one wife). I also have a fair share of books neatly aligned on the shelves (paperbacks, mostly). And I have a keyboard as well, but mine has a carriage instead of a computer screen. 

And sadly, I have days that the only words that appear on my screen are the opening credits of a movie on Netflix I decided watching because I couldn’t think of anything to write about.  

As we left Key West I had one final, sobering thought:

I am already older now than Hemingway ever was. 

Scott Ludwig lives, runs, and writes in Senoia.  His latest book, “Southern Charm: Columns from a small town Georgia newspaper,” as well as the rest of his books, can be found on his author page on Amazon. He can be reached at