Literary Birthday – 9 November – Janet Fitch

Happy Birthday, Janet Fitch, born 9 November 1955.


  1. I was an early reader and an all around fabulist. As a child, I lived completely in the world of my imagination—a far more real place to me than the so-called ‘real world’. I had a very difficult time telling the difference between what had actually happened and the things I made up.
  2. When I was nine, I picked up a rock on the way to school and told the kids it was a piece of the true Blarney Stone and if they kissed it, they would have the gift of blarney forever and ever. They all kissed it—and I forgot I’d made it up, and kissed it too.
  3. Notice everything. Love the senses. Ban the cliché. Hold nothing back.
  4. If you’re stuck, try not to fight your way through it. Be kind to yourself. If you feel like you’re coming up on something that’s immobile, just stop. Leave it. It’s not worth it. Do an exercise. Write something else. Play music and write to the music. Irritating music works better than music I like, because it’s more stimulating; it doesn’t lull you. Find an interesting photo and write your way into the photograph. Often doing little things takes the pressure off, until you feel comfortable writing what you want to write.
  5. Remember it all, every insult, every tear. Tattoo it on the inside of your mind. In life, knowledge of poisons is essential. I’ve told you, nobody becomes an artist unless they have to.
  6. Memory is the fourth dimension to any landscape.
  7. There used to be a category called women’s fiction – meaning not too rude, not too much sex, a bit domestic and internal. Women have changed so much. We’re so varied. And we’ve become more interested in the same varied experience in fiction.
  8. Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow.
  9. Just because a poet said something didn’t mean it was true, only that it sounded good.

Read: Janet Fitch’s Top 10 Writing Tips

Janet Fitch is an American author. She is best known for her novel, White Oleander. She is a faculty member in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where she teaches fiction.

Source for Writing Tips



Larry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 9th November 2012