“If people ask me for the ingredients of success, I say one is talent, two is stubbornness or determination, and third is sheer luck. You have to have two out of the three. Any two will probably do.” – Fred Saberhagen
Born on this date in 1930, Saberhagen wrote both science fiction and fantasy and gained most of his fame for his Berserker sci-fi series. He also wrote a well-received series of vampire novels in which Dracula steps away from the usual villainous role to become the main protagonist.
A one-time editor and writer for Encyclopedia Brittanica, he decided in his early 30s that he would focus on “serious” writing (meaning creative fiction, he later said) and he moved to Albuquerque, NM, and hit the keyboards. There, he added, “fear” often kept the creative juices flowing.
“I suspect that writer's block afflicts mainly people who have some stable and ample source of income outside of writing,” he quipped. “So, for me, that was never a problem.” In the latter years of his life – he died in 2007 – he became a frequent speaker at writing conferences and workshops where he gave this advice to aspiring creative writers.
“The advice would be the same for any kind of fiction. Keep writing, and keep sending things out, not to friends and relatives, but to people who have the power to buy. A lot of additional, useful tips could be added, but this is fundamental.”
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