Inspiration for Reluctant Writers
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Over and Over and Over Again

I love the irony of this statement. Wilde, obviously, knew you can't determine if you'll want to read the book over and over again until you have read it once. Wilde was known for his brilliant wit, and it's evident here. However, he does, still, make a good point. The best books are the ones we enjoy so much that we keep them in our library to read again and again. I have no idea how many times I've read A Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre. Just last month, I re-read Willa Cather's A Lost Lady, and it was just as good a read this time around as it was the first. Of course, the classics get many reads by true book lovers, but some modern authors have faithful fans that read and re-read their

"Write the book that wants to be written."

Writers understand what L'Engle means by "the book that wants to be written." We have a narrative that runs in our heads that will either drive us crazy or bring us joy. The only way to stay sane is to write that story and get it out of our heads. Children, even those who are old enough to differentiate between reality and fantasy, are more willing to suspend disbelief than most adults. They delight in unfamiliar creatures and worlds. They cross over to fantasy and back to reality with ease and without confusion. So, if your work befuddles grownups, perhaps you need a more sophisticated audience. L'Engle did and children have delighted in her work for years.

The Pen Is Scarier Than the Sword

As any writer will tell you, there is little that is more frightening than a pen and a blank sheet of paper, except, perhaps, a screaming two year old, but, still, you get my drift. The truth is that while Alexandre Dumas may terrified of the blank page, he still completed The Count of Monte Cristo. He didn't let fear stop him. He faced it and overcame it. As a pole-vaulter friend of mine says, "You have to jump the fear." He's right. It's perfectly fine to be afraid, but write anyway. Write. Even if the first words on the blank page are: "I don't know what to say here." Or try, "If I could write what I wanted to, I would write . . . " The first draft is always bad. So don't worry about that

Are You an Artiste?

"I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

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© 2020 by Caren Austen Ink.