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Longfellow: Famous writers from A to Z on writing

Unfinished manuscripts are the bane of many writers’ business. Don’t ask us how many nearly complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novels or potential bestsellers are gathering dust on our desks. You surely don’t want to hear about the flurry of first drafts that lie fallow in our file cabinets.

Finishing is everything, when it comes to good writing.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), a famous American poet, summed this concept up neatly:

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the Fireside Poets group, which apparently also included William Cullen Bryant, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

Classic wordsmith Longfellow offered another piece of wise advice for writing (or any life pursuit), when he said this:

“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.”

Mentoring makes a massive impact, especially when one has the opportunity to learn from a masterful writer. Wouldn’t we all love such a chance?

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1 comment:

  1. Truer words on writing have probably never been said! I love starting things, the first few sentences especially, because all the possibility in the world is right there.

    And then you tighten and tighten, and this thing is trying to take shape, and it gets all the tougher.


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