Do I Have Enough Wisdom to Be a Good Writer?

Zora Neale Hurston

Dear Literary Ladies,
Sometimes I feel that I don’t have enough life experience to be a good writer. Everything I write, in hindsight, looks rather shallow and inauthentic. Should I wait until I’ve lived more fully, and gain some wisdom, before I bare my soul to the public in writing, or should I just plow ahead?


I wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in Haiti. It was dammed up in me, and I wrote it in seven weeks. I wish I could write it again. In fact, I regret all of my books. It is one of the tragedies of life that one cannot have all the wisdom one is ever to possess in the beginning.

Perhaps, it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would be written at all. It might be better to ask yourself “Why?” afterwards than before.

Anyway, the force from somewhere in Space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.

Zora Neale HurstonDust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography, 1942


Zora Neale Hurston quotes


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2 Responses to “Do I Have Enough Wisdom to Be a Good Writer?”

  1. I just discovered this blog and I’m in awe! Thank you for reminding the world of the “lost” writers especially for those focused on the Western classics! It is so important for our present as readers and writers to remember those before us!

    Thank you.

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment, Elena! I wholeheartedly agree with your point of view, and that, in fact is the driving force behind this site. We have a goal of adding one classic woman author each week, as we’ve not nearly covered all of them. Currently working on Amy Lowell and Dodie Smith. Please join our Facebook page for daily inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/LiteraryLadiesGuide

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