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John Howard Reid

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Write to Please Yourself?
By John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, March 05, 2011
Posted: Saturday, March 05, 2011

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We all write to please ourselves. In fact, it's usually our number one reason for writing. Unfortunately, if we strictly follow this path, our chances of success are not all that bright.

How to Succeed: Please Readers More Than You Please Yourself!

Generally speaking, writing is all about pleasing people. Other people! I'm speaking about successful writing. True, there are writers like Beatrix Potter, Jerome K. Jerome, Stephen Leacock and James Joyce who wrote strictly to please themselves.

Then there are writers like Rev. Charles Dodgson who usually wrote solely to please himself, but occasionally wrote a book or two to please someone else. Interestingly it's only "Alice in Wonderland" and its sequel that are remembered today. All the books Dodgson wrote to please himself are totally forgotten.

There are writers like Robert Louis Stevenson who started out by catering to his own taste, but changed horses mid-stream.

And finally there are novelists like Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens and most of today's bestselling authors of fiction, who write simply to please their readers. 

Most fledgling authors choose to follow the first path. Unfortunately, it's a frustrating path and one in which you often feel you are lost in a dark alley on a rainy night. You long for the sunshine of success. Jerome K. Jerome wrote of this very experience in a piece (is it a story or an essay?) I regard as the finest example of short prose in the English language.

Indeed, if you were to submit an entry with as fine a theme (and of course writing of a similar high standard) in a current prose contest, you could be well on your way to winning First Prize.

In my handbook, Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS: How To Join the Winners' Circle for Prose and Poetry Awards, [Clicking this next link will take you to the $2.99 Kindle edition: Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS ] in addition to all the advice that I gained at first hand by entering contests myself, I also provide the Jerome K. Jerome piece (is it a story or an essay?) I regard as the finest example of short prose in the English language.

No doubt you could probably also read it free of charge on the net, if you google the name, Jerome K. Jerome. No writer should miss this short but vital story which so powerfully centers on the very reasons we all have for putting pen to paper.

Web Site: John Howard Reid

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