Daily Archives for: October 23rd, 2016

What’s the worst mistake beginning writers make?

Dear Literary Ladies,
What is the worst mistake aspiring writers make when first starting to send their work out into the world? There’s often either no feedback or mixed messages, so what’s the most important lesson to keep in mind?

When I left the University of Nebraska after graduating and went to New York City, I wanted to write after the best style of Henry James —the foremost mind that ever applied itself to literature in America. I was dazzled. I was trying to work in a sophisticated medium and write about highly developed people whom I knew only superficially. Read More→


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Edna Ferber: Success or Failure, All’s to Do Again

Failure is no picnic, nor the fear of it, but the prospect of success can be just as scary. Actually, in some ways success can be scarier. It shakes up the status quo; failure is more likely to maintain it— you can continue to dance with the devil you know. Like Edna Ferber, it’s possible to view success and failure as intertwined rather than as polar opposites.

Most writers blessed with long, prolific careers usually produce a mix of books that are popular and/or critical successes along with other books that are relative failures. Some fail to reach their audience; others don’t match the quality of the authors’ other works. Since success can be as paralyzing as failure, best just to keep writing, and repeat after Edna Ferber: “Success or failure, all’s to do again.” Read More→


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