Advice from the Masters: Hilary Mantel

Jun 8, 2016 | Better Writing

I’ve never read any of Hilary Mantel’s popular and successful novels. But when I ran across the following quote, in a collection of “21 Pieces Of Advice For Aspiring Writers,” I knew I had to share it.

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”

I’ve done all of those things except “bake a pie.” But I offer “do laundry” as a workable substitute.

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts

If you want even more writing advice from writers, check out Jon Winokur’s blog, “AdvicetoWriters.”