Every now and then, I feel myself gently drawn back to one of my favorite stories, Pride and Prejudice. It holds special appeal in the lazy days of summer, when I want nothing more than to read all day, or take a walk, or sit in the sun, and by night to don a pretty dress and dance with a handsome man.
Such is my romantic view of Victorian life.
But this fascination for simpler days is possible only because Jane captured them in her writing. She devoted herself to her task, never dreaming that her work would become more popular over centuries.
How did she do it?
Certainly she faced the same challenges as writers of today. “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings,” she said. And yet she wrote and, thankfully, left these words of wisdom that can be applied to all aspects of the modern writing life:
1. On Reading
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
2. On Writer’s Block
“And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.”
3. On Creative Chaos
“None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
4. On Inspiration
“We have all a better guide in ourselves if we would attend to it, than any other person could be.”
5. On Having a Vision
“I wish as well as everybody else to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”
6. On Self-Sabotage
“It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us.”
7. On Discipline
“I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on until I am.”
8. On Intention
“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.”
9. On Self-Doubt
“I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”
10. On Ego
“Which of all my important things shall I tell you first?”
Tammy Letherer is a writing coach who wants to help you find your voice, whether in a blog or a book. She is the author of one novel, Hello Loved Ones, and an upcoming memoir, The Buddha at my Table. Contact her if you have a story that deserves to be shared. Follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.