Monday, November 23, 2009

Advice From Famous Authors

Online College recently posted Words of Wisdom: 101 Tips from the World's Most Famous Authors.

I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorites:

John Steinbeck
- I've always tried out material on my dogs first. Make sure that above all, you are happy with your work. . . and see if the dogs stay awake.

Sounds like good advice to me :)

Jessamyn West - Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.

I agree!

Margaret Atwood - Don't be afraid of failure. A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.

My wastebasket near my computer is a nice big one and is usually full on trash day :)

Annie Dillard - Writing sentences is difficult whatever their subject. It is no less difficult to write sentences in a recipe than sentences in Moby Dick. So you might as well write Moby Dick. No matter what, write.

If you like writing recipes, I guess you could always incorporate them into your storyline :)

James Patterson - I'm always pretending that I'm sitting across from somebody. I'm telling them a story, and I don't want them to get up until it's finished.

That sounds like a very good idea to me!

Agatha Christie - The best time to plan a book is when you're doing the dishes.

Maybe I should go do those dishes now, instead of waiting until later :)

Malcolm S. Forbes - Failure is success if we learn from it.

I think we can all learn from our failures.

Helen Keller - Find the joy in small accomplishments. I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

All of your short stories could add up to a great novel!

Ralph Waldo Emerson - Believe in yourself. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.

I think this is something you must do to persevere. If you don't believe in yourself, why should you expect others to believe in you.

I enjoyed these quotes, I hope you did too.

Which one is your favorite?


  1. Janet,
    These quotes by writers are just fantastic. They make a lot of sense, too. I like all of them. Thanks for sharing these uplifting quotes with us. We as writers need all the encouragement we can get. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Great quotes! I was lucky enough to see Annie Dillard in person a few years ago when she came to read one of her works at Univ of Mich. I love her writing!!! Thanks for sharing these! Coralie

  3. Thanks for sharing. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite.

  4. What a fun post! I like the one about writing while you're doing the dishes. How true! If I didn't dream while I did the housework, I'd never have any ideas. Some of my best scenes occur to me while I'm doing my hair & make up too.

  5. I like all of these...thanks so much for sharing them!


  6. These are all great. I need to make a "Writer's Encouragement File" and write these down.
    Thank you for posting them.

  7. Each one gave a snipit of my writing life. I can especially relate to washing the dishes and thinking about a current project, or the next one.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. My favorite is probably Steinbeck's, but the one with which I most strongly identify is Patterson's....

    Nice post!

  9. I think I liked Agatha Christie's the best.
    I do some of my best thinking when I'm washing dishes.


Thank you for your comments. I love comments!