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Joyce: Famous writers from A to Z on writing

Set-up is significant and strategic for intentional writers, as wordsmithing experts like James Joyce have known all too well.

Irish poet and novelist James Joyce (1882-1941) wrote several famous works, including Dubliners, Exiles, Finnegan’s Wake, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses. Joyce’s books are staples on college literature class syllabi.

James Joyce seemed to understand the importance of creating an environment for creativity, focus, and productivity and how a lack of this might jeopardize the process. Consider this quotation:

“No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.”

What writer doesn’t know the frustration of distractions? Having a dedicated spot for plying one’s writing craft, with the necessary supplies on hand, is critical. Plus, this practice eliminates many of our ready excuses for procrastination.

Joyce also said this about writing – or (more likely) life in general:

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”

How right he was. What writer can’t recall at least a handful of embarrassing typos, grammar slips, or unchecked details that actually made it into print? We count them as lessons learned – and maybe more memorable than anything we may have picked up in academia.

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