Gone With the Wind was published in 1936, at a time when the book industry, like all other businesses in the U.S., was still suffering from the results of the Depression. At least one person was concerned about the enterprise: Margaret Mitchell.
“I do hope they sell five thousand copies,” she remarked, “so they don’t lose money.” In one day GWTW sold 50,000 copies, and it was soon one of the fastest-selling books in the history of American publishing.
Published on June 30, 1936, GWTW had already been made a selection of Book of the Month Club, and advance sales were remarkable for a first novel by such an unknown author, particularly for a book of such length. Critics weren’t always as kind as the public. It’s fascinating to look back at how iconic books were reviewed in their own time. Read More→
Willa Cather (1873-1947) was a craftswoman of the written word. Known for their stark beauty and spare language, her novels reflected her philosophy that writing is a craft to be honed and perfected. Cather’s considerable writing wisdom has been fully preserved.
She always had a great deal of wisdom to impart on the art of writing. Here’s a sampling, excerpted from several of the numerous interviews she granted (despite her professed disdain for the press and with fame in general) between 1915 and the mid-1920s. Read More→
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 the 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→