5 Things Beatrix Potter Can Teach You About Writing

5 Things Beatrix Potter Can Teach You About Writing


Beatrix Potter was a popular English author, illustrator, and natural scientist. She was famous for her children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Here are five things writers can learn about writing from the author’s own words:

  1. ‘There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.’ You have to start writing. Even if you don’t know where you’re going. If you want to be a writer, you need to love the art in order to perfect the craft. You will write many drafts of a book before you it will be publishable, but you have to start somewhere.
  2. ‘The shorter and the plainer the better.’ Keep it simple. One of the main reasons that Beatrix Potter was so successful is because she was so easy to understand. The clarity of her writing, her simple word selection, and plain, effective language, made her an iconic writer.
  3. ‘Most people, after one success, are so cringingly afraid of doing less well that they rub all the edge off their subsequent work.’ Don’t be afraid that you only have one book in you. Carry on writing. If you can write one book, you can write another.
  4. ‘I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever.’ Don’t wait for inspiration. You have to work on your art or your writing all the time. Beatrix Potter was lucky because she started so young and developed a habit that allowed her to perfect her craft.
  5. ‘We cannot stay home all our lives, we must present ourselves to the world and we must look upon it as an adventure.’ Try new things. Potter was inspired by nature and animals. Her passion for her subject matter was intensified by her studies in art, literature, and science. She kept a journal where she detailed her ideas in her own coded language.

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, read:

  1. Mary Karr’s Memoir Checklist To Stave Off Dread
  2. Writing Advice From The World’s Most Famous Authors
  3. 5 Tips For Writing Vivid Fiction From Edgar Allan Poe

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