Literary Birthday – 1 February – Meg Cabot

Happy Birthday, Meg Cabot, born 1 February 1967.


  1. Sit down. Start a story. Finish it. Put it aside. Start another story. There. Now you’re a writer.
  2. I like chapters to be no longer than 10 pages each, with one scene per chapter. But you can have as long or as short a chapter as you want, with as many scenes in each that you want. You can have no chapters, if you want. But remember, readers have busy lives, and at some point they will have to put your book down to go the grocery store. It would be nice if you have chapter breaks so they could do this easily.
  3. Some authors make an outline plotting out what will happen in each chapter, before they sit down to write the book. While I do think it’s important when you’re writing a book to know where you are going (what the end will be) and how to get there, that kind of detailed plotting pretty kills the fun of writing for me, so I don’t do it. But see what works best for you.
  4. It is always more fun to start a new story than it is to work on the one you’ve been working on for months… Every writer feels this way. Just power through it, and remember that if you write a page a day—just ONE page—in three months you’ll have a hundred page story. And in six months you’ll have a two hundred page story. That’s almost a whole book. So don’t think about it like: ‘Oh my gosh, I have to write two hundred pages.’ Think of it like, ‘Today, I have to write a page.’ Trust me. It works.
  5. That is the difference between someone who WANTS to write, and someone who DOES write. The person who FINDS the time is the one who is going to become a writer. The person who doesn’t, won’t. You have to decide what’s important to you.
  6. One of the biggest motivations for me with writing my books is to offer girls some escapism, especially girls who really need it, like I did.
  7. Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.
  8. Sometimes we need to take big risks if we want to find out who we are, and what we were put on this planet for.
  9. Save your rejections so that later when you are famous you can show them to people and laugh.
  10. It was also my mother who taught me never to be bored. She was a writer and an artist, and when I had nothing to do as a kid she would always hand me a pen and paper and tell me to draw a picture or write a story.

Read: Meg Cabot’s Advice to Young Writers

Meg Cabot is an American best-selling author. She has written and published more than 50 books, which have been translated into 38 languages. The Princess Diaries series has sold more than 20 million copies. Meg Cabot (her last name rhymes with habit, as in ‘her books can be habit forming’) currently lives in Key West with her husband and two cats.

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Posted on: 1st February 2013