11-29-18 Advice on Writing from Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time captured my young imagination and I went on to read nearly everything that Madeleine L’Engle wrote.  The Arm of the Starfish, which combined likable characters, science, and international intrigue, was my favorite, and it is one of the books that has withstood rereading as an adult.  Near the 100th anniversary of her birth, I’ll share this advice that she prefaces as being for writers, but which seems to me to be good advice for anyone, especially given the documented effect of writing on health:

I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important:

First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair.

And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write.

The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.

— Madeleine L’Engle