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A letter to writers from John Steinbeck

Does starting a story scare you? Maybe you put off putting pen to paper because of fear. John Steinbeck felt the same way.

In a letter to writers, Steinbeck wrote:

“It is not so very hard to judge a story after it is written, but, after many years, to start a story still scares me to death. I will go so far as to say that the writer who is not scared is happily unaware of the remote and tantalizing majesty of the medium.”

Steinbeck pushed forward and so must we.

He discovered there were no clear and easy rules for writing. A teacher gave him and his fellow students this piece of advice:

“As an exercise, we were to try reducing the meat of our story to one sentence, for only then could we know it well enough to enlarge it to 3,000 or 6,000 or 10,000 words.”

Read the entire letter for more Steinbeck insight.

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