Advice from the Masters: Hilary Mantel

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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.”

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Phil Lynch   |   10 Jun 2016   |   Reply


Do seek out her Thomas Cromwell books, ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Out The Bodies’.

Aside from the literary banquet they provide, at bottom they are about getting things done for the boss (in Cromwell’s case, King Henry VIII), when the price of failure is personal ruin and destruction.


Wally Bock   |   10 Jun 2016   |   Reply

Thanks, Phil!