Posted on 10/28/2019 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

We turn today to the poets and prose writers born this week in history for their advice on the craft — enjoy!

Dylan Thomas

“Never be lucid, never state, if you would be regarded great.”

“Don't be too harsh to these poems until they're typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction.”

“Go on thinking that you don't need to be read and you'll find that it may become quite true: no one will feel the need to read it because it is written for yourself alone; and the public won't feel any impulse to gate crash such a private party.”

“My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out.”

Sylvia Plath

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.”

“The thing about writing is not to talk, but to do it; no matter how bad or even mediocre it is, the process and production is the thing, not the sitting and theorizing about how one should write ideally, or how well one could write if one really wanted to or had the time.”

PS: Standout Books shares five ways that Sylvia Plath's work can help you improve your writing.

James Boswell

“He who has provoked the lash of wit cannot complain that he smarts from it.”

Paul Valéry

“A limited vocabulary, but one with which you can make numerous combinations, is better than thirty thousand words that only hamper the action of the mind.”

“An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it.”

John Keats

“Whenever I find myself growing vapourish, I rouse myself, wash and put on a clean shirt, brush my hair and clothes, tie my shoestrings neatly and in fact adonize as I were going out – then all clean and comfortable I sit down to write. This I find the greatest relief.” 

“I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.”

PS: Daniel David Wallace shares seven writing-related lessons he learned from the life of John Keats.

Stephen Crane

“Sometimes, the most profound of awakenings come wrapped in the quietest of moments.”

“We are the most successful in art when we approach the nearest to nature and truth.”

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