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Author Archive: "Sadie Jones"

On Advice Given to Writers

When you are a young writer, or an unproven writer, you receive a great deal of well-meaning advice from people who don't write and can't understand why you persist at it. Some of the advice is helpful — most of it, probably, is helpful: keep at it; don't give up, being the most common and broadly supportive. It costs the person nursing the sobbing, recently rejected writer very little in the way of insight or effort to urge them to "keep at it," and the effect is disproportionately useful.

If truth be told, when it comes to the crunch, a writer keeps at it and a non-writer gives up. There's not as much moral courage as we would like to think about the tenacity and immortal optimism of writers, just the compulsion to do it that, following a disappointment and after a period of mourning lasting anything from hours to years, will come to the fore. The writer will keep writing, and simply "keeping at it" will almost certainly improve both their work and their odds of success.

Before my first book, The Outcast, was ...


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