Happy Birthday, Carolyn Mackler, born 13 July 1973
- People often ask me now why I write novels for teenagers. Lots of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that I honestly believe that, along with certain friendships, I was saved by the books I read during those years. They spoke to me in a way that nothing else did. They helped me feel less alone. They made me laugh. They made me feel like there was a world bigger than my high school.
- Never underestimate yourself.
- My biggest challenge is to sit to write. I never stop moving—I’m always straightening things up, putting things away, taking out the recycling.
- I write books for myself. I hope that people like my books and I hope they relate to and are excited by them. But I write the story that I want to tell. I know what I like to read and what excites me about a book and I try to write those sorts of books.
- I don’t read fiction when I’m trying to write. When I’m drafting a novel, I won’t read many books at all. I’ll read The New York Times and the New Yorker if I’m in a highbrow mood and People for my lowbrow gossip. I never want to love the book I’m reading more than I love the book I’m writing, but I’ll binge read while I’m touring or in between novels.
- Read. Read current books in the genre in which you want to write.
- Write. Write what you love. Write what makes you excited — journal, stories, memoir, anything. Be honest. Don’t be shy about putting in whatever you want. You can always edit later. And then, once you’ve gotten some significant writing done, throw out, revise, start over.
Carolyn Mackler is an American author of young adult literature. She has written five novels including Love and Other Four-Letter Words.