Happy Birthday, Maureen Johnson, born 16 February 1973
- I was always one of those reading and writing kids. After a little dalliance with astronomy (I had a glow in the dark star chart) and archaeology (I had a little shovel), I declared my intention to become a writer at the age of eight or nine or so.
- Writing is one of the few careers for which you essentially train yourself, the other two major ones being juggling and pickpocketing.
- Read everything you can. Write all the time. Keep writing and writing and writing … and don’t worry about publishing right away. Writing is a bit like playing an instrument or dancing or acting … you have to practice and learn for a long time before you go up in front of people.
- I know this sounds harsh but, it is truthful and solid advice. Most books written by teenagers are nowhere near ready for publication. It takes a long time to learn how to write.
- I read two mysteries a day when I was a kid. All of Agatha Christie, all of ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ I’ve seen every single British detective show ever made.
- Publishing is a business. Writing is your craft. Every writer I know was a teenage writer who just kept going.
- My rule is: the second you find yourself doing something you hate, quit doing it.
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