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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Daily exercise ... for the writing muscle

“Write every day. You don't have to write about anything specific, but you should exercise your writing muscle constantly.” – Jane Yolen

Yolen, who was born on this day in 1939, has written fantasy, science fiction, and children's books and is the author or editor of nearly 300 books.  Her best known is The Devil's Arithmetic, a Holocaust novella.   Among her other works are the Nebula Award-winning short story Sister Emily's Lightship, the novelette Lost Girls, and the kids’ books Owl Moon, The Emperor and the Kite, the Commander Toad series and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight.

Yolen began writing as a journalist  “for my pocketbook,” 
she said.  But her heart was in writing poetry “for my soul.”   
Despite that, her first non-journalistic work was not poetry but a children’s book and many, many of her works sincehave been geared toward children.  In fact, she is often referred to as “America’s Hans Christian Andersen.”

“Don't ever write just for a trend or fad, because it's a moving target, and by the time you get your work out there, the trend or fad is gone,” she said as her words of advice for new writers.   “Dig deep; don't be afraid to write fiercely. Expose your heart.”

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