The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life
Welcome to a site celebrating classic women authors who wrote in the English language. Here you’ll find their words of wisdom for readers and writers. Enjoy their life stories and quotations; learn more about their books; read their advice on the writing life; and enjoy contemporary voices on the writing process.
Dear Literary Ladies
Dear Literary Ladies,
Some days, I just can’t find the resolve to work. I could blame all sorts of distractions and interruptions, but maybe it’s the discipline I lack. If words don’t flow right away, I’ll get up and find some fine excuse not to stick with it. How do you develop the discipline to just sit down and write?
Ultimately, you have to sit down and start to write. And even if all you do is type out “I can’t write this morning; I can’t write this morning; oh, bother, I can’t write this morning,” that will sometimes prime the pump and get it started. It is a matter of discipline. It is particularly a matter of discipline for a woman who has children or another job. Read More→
Beatrix Potter’s (1866-1943) inspiration came from the nature and animals that surrounded her as a child and sprouted an imagination that would delight the world forever. Her extensive studies in art, literature, and science fueled her, as did her journal, where she kept ideas in her own coded language. Since she started drawing so young, she was able to perfect her craft by the time her work was to be published.
Influenced by fairy tales, fantasy, and religious imagery, Potter was able to sell her drawings to illustrate other writers’ work, and as illustrations for Christmas cards. When she found a home for The Tale of Peter Rabbit, both she and her publisher, F.W. Warne, were taken aback by its immediate popularity. Her illustrations and stories of whimsical animal characters are still a favorite today and can be found in the children’s section of any bookstore or library. Read More→