Oh bother! Some days you receive another rejection letter, or realize you have to completely rewrite the opening pages of your story, or your latest poem gets a less than enthusiastic response in your writing group. What’s a writer to do? While it may seem complex, the answer, like Winnie-the-Pooh, can be very simple and down-to-earth. And you’ll be surprised how well this silly old bear’s ponderings apply to writing! In honor of author A. A. Milne’s birthday, Writer’s Relief has compiled a list of timeless writing advice from Winnie-the-Pooh, Milne’s most beloved literary character.
Writing Advice From Winnie-The-Pooh
“Think it over, think it under.” If you’re dealing with writer’s block, try looking at your work from a different angle. Try a few writing prompts or creative writing exercises to shake loose some new ideas!
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, ‘What about lunch?’” The right word or sentence isn’t always the biggest, most complex word or sentence. If you tend to overwrite, taking a few lessons from Papa Hemingway’s technique can help you cut back and tighten your writing.
“Because Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.” Many authors find that returning to the place where their interest in writing started can help reinvigorate feelings of inspiration.
“What could be more important than a little something to eat?” Healthy snacks like fruit, popcorn, cheese, (and honey!) and more can also be great writing fuel!
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Many writers turn to writing prompts, writing workshops, and reading to help inspire their writing and creativity. But sometimes, the best ways to boost your creativity have nothing to do with writing! Take a walk and listen to the sounds around you, whether it’s a babbling brook or the bustle of a city sidewalk. You’ll return to your writing refreshed and reenergized!
“Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” Just as a river keeps flowing, don’t let a rejection letter stop you from reaching your publishing goals. Keep sending out submissions: The publishing industry rule of thumb is 100 submissions for every acceptance. That means 99 potential rejections might float into your inbox before you get to that acceptance letter!
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Literary journals and agents won’t come knocking on your door to read your writing. If you want to get published, you need to send your submissions out into the world!
If the thought of spending hours doing all the necessary research to target the right markets for your submissions—as well as eliminate the markets that aren’t right—seems daunting, let the research experts at Writer’s Relief do the legwork and busywork for you! Ninety percent of our short story and poetry clients have been published with our help. We’ll find the best markets for your writing and boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Learn more and submit your writing sample to our Review Board today!
And one final quote from our favorite little bear: “A hug is always the right size.” We’re writers too, so we’re sending out a big hug to you along with wishes for many acceptances in your future!
Question: Which timeless quote from Winnie-the-Pooh is your favorite?