LitStack Exclusive: Good and Bad Writing Advice

by Tee Tate


The best writing advice I ever got was teased out of Samuel Delany’s collection of essays, About Writing. In there, he talks about something he calls “begeisterung” —a German word that translates to something like “happy enthusiasm.” Delany uses it in a more archaic sense, to describe that feeling of inspiration an artist can have where a work is so important it’s like their whole purpose in life. Delany says this begeisterung can make all the difference in success. With it, an artist will find a way to achieve their vision no matter what it takes, overcoming any lack of skill or other obstacles. He seems to consider it necessary for any great work.

At the time, I was struggling with a revise-and-resubmit request from an agent on a novel that was desperately important to me. I’d been frozen, thinking that caring so much could only make me fail. The idea that it would help was huge!  In the end, after much study and lots of revisions, I ultimately got an agent (a different one) with that novel. It will be out next spring.

Bio Source

Laurel Amberdine was raised by cats in the suburbs of Chicago. She’s good at naps, begging for food, and turning ordinary objects into toys. She read a novel a day for over a decade, until she married someone who occasionally wanted to talk to her, putting an end to that streak.

She currently lives in San Francisco where she works as  Assistant Editor at both Locus Magazine and  Lightspeed Magazine. She is willing to entertain offers from other magazines that start with “L.”

She has published poetry and short fiction, but loves novels best of all. Her YA fantasy novel Luminator is forthcoming from Reuts Publishing in spring 2018.

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