More Sound Advice From a Bygone Day

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Way back in 1890, the Scottish poet, novelist, and literary critic Andrew Lang (best known in later years for his fairy-tale collections) gave a lecture at the South Kensington Museum, in aid of the College for Working Men and Women.  The title of the lecture was “How to Fail in Literature”, and it purported to be advice for those members of the audience who desired to fail at becoming successful writers.

It was, in fact, an extended list of things not to do for any audience members who desired to succeed at the same endeavor, and its advice and observations still hold true today.

For example:

Advice on how to secure the reverse of success should not be given to young authors alone.  Their kinsfolk and friends, also, can do much for their aid.  A lady who feels a taste for writing is very seldom allowed to have a…

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