“Writing makes my heart pound, my hands flutter…”

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

BaggottJuliannaBW Julianna Baggott

Some days it seems as if everyone who has ever written a book is also writing a book on how to write books, but author Julianna Baggott has added a fun twist, first writing a novel – Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders – about a fictional novelist name Harriet Wolfe, and then, penning a short bit of craft advice purporting to be letters from Wolfe to a young Flannery O’Connor. The letters are not only fun to read, but packed with real (not fictional) good advice.  For instance:

Dear Miss O’Connor,

You are quite right. And it’s not really fair. The traits a writer needs for survival are at odds.

To show the real world – in its honest beautiful grotesquerie — you should be vulnerable, sensitive, laid bare. Yet, to accept the criticism and rejection that you need to endure and improve, you have to be tough, hardened. A…

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