I just finished reading THE LITERARY LADIES GUIDE TO THE WRITING LIFE by Nava Atlas. A writer friend of mine told me about one of the metaphors Madeleine L'Engle uses about letting her ideas simmer slowly, with several pots cooking at once, she drops ideas in each one until the pot is full and then brings it to the front of the stove. That's the story she begins to write. I really enjoyed it!
[On Writing] "To work on a book is for me very much the same thing
as to pray. Both involve discipline... Ultimately, when you are
writing, you stop thinking and write what you hear."
~ Madeleine L'Engle
Some of the authors that Atlas shares with us include Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather, Edna Ferber, Virginia Woolf, Edith Warton and many more notable women writers. What I found most amazing was from the mid 1600's to today all women writers struggle with writing time, developing a voice, recognition of their work, fighting inner demons, handling rejection, making money and finding inspiration. They found their stories in not only day-to-day issues, but global ones as well. From letters and interviews we learn a lot about these classic authors.
And personally, it warmed my heart to see that we still share the insecurity and the heady excitement as such esteemed authors.
[On Reviews] "You read these things, you hear them, you face them as
you would face any misfortune, with as much good grace as you can
summon. Success or failure, you go on to the next piece of work at
hand." ~Edna Ferber
We're all familiar with Uncle Tom's Cabin, A Wrinkle in Time, My Antonia, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Little Women, A Room of One's Own, just to name a few of the notable works we've been hearing about since we were children. Many we've read or seen the motion picture, so the stories and characters are familiar.
[On Writing] "Risk is essential. It's scary. Every time I sit down and start the first page of a novel I am risking failure." ~ Madeleine L'Engle
I like to think that what Jacqui, Susan, Maggie, Mary and I are trying to do at Author Expressions is similar. Sharing our experiences and encouraging other authors along the path. I hope you'll ask questions, share ideas and concerns with us and keep the discussion going. And if you get a chance to read this book, it's a good glimpse into the lives of some of the greats.