Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Jane Austen

This week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday is dedicated to the world renowned English author Jane Austen. While I haven’t yet read any of her works I certainly plan to. From everything I have read she is regarded as one of the most widely read authors of all time and has an amazing style. Apparently her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Jane Austen, born on December 16, 1775, was not widely known in her own time. It wasn’t until after 1869 that her popularity skyrocketed. Her work includes just six novels but due to their timelessness have been adapted into many movies, television shows, and modern adaptations, as well as being translated into multiple languages.

Her most  popular novels, including Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and are considered literary classics. And her other works have gone on to become a model for all modern romances to follow.

“I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”

Jane Austen

Ever since I decided that one day I’d like to become a writer I have felt both self-conscious and a bit discouraged by my own lack of education. I’m not just talking about the fact that I didn’t go to college, I’m talking about the fact that I didn’t even finish high school! How can I even think about being a serious writer when I have had no education on the subject? I mean, you have to have a degree to be an architect, a doctor, a teacher, an accountant, a lawyer, or an engineer, why not to be a writer?

I’m not sure how important higher education is to becoming a writer but I hope to do it without the expense and the time of college. I am getting older now and I just don’t want to waste the years when I could just sit down at my computer and type until my fingers bleed as much as my heart. What more is there to writing than that?

Yes I know, there are rules to writing. There is spelling, and grammar, and structure. You should avoid passive voice, use active verbs, remove adverbs, provide detail, and know your characters. You should use concrete rather than vague language and avoid double negatives. You should vary your sentence and paragraph length and cultivate your own style. I know, I know.

The thing is I learned all of that from reading books on writing and reading books by people who write the same sort of things I want to write. I learned even more from a few simple Google searches. What more could a school teach me? The only benefit I can see for going to school is you pay others to be you critics. You pay someone to help you get better.

That’s the great thing about the internet though, it comes with millions of potential critics. You can create a blog and join groups and ask people to tell you what they think, all for free! The only catch is you have to do a bit of work promoting yourself so that people actually want to read your stuff in order to tell you what they think. That, I have learned, is easier said than done.

I am getting there though, and, like Jane, I take great pride in doing it while being quite unlearned and uninformed.

Original image: https://flic.kr/p/4wVccL

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Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

13 thoughts on “Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Jane Austen”

  1. Good for you Lisa, to keep up with your writing. I must say if you can take a creative writing class at a community college, do it! I gained so much more confidence in college because I had to express my thoughts in a cohesive manner. It was so fulfilling. This is a great quote from a great author. I missed you last week. Glad you are back! <3

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    1. Thank you! I am glad to be back :)

      I have thought about that, just taking a class or two to see if there is more I can learn or at least get some direction, but full on college is a no.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My quote this week was by Austen too! A great world awaits you when you start reading her. She’s like a friend to help you smile through many uncomfortable, awkward situations. I would suggest the absolutely delightful series Emma(2008) as a great and very faithful film to her book of the same name to begin with. Personally, I think Sense and Sensibility is a book every young girl and woman should read. It is both realistic and delightful about love. As a book, best place to start is Pride and Prejudice. There are many classic adaptations but nothing compares to the book for me. And yes, reading her and stepping into her world will help you reconcile with nearly all inadequacies in life and love you think you possess.

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    1. Thanks for the tips! I feel bad I haven’t read any of her work but in my defense I thought they were mushy, girly novels. I will definitely be starting with Pride and Prejudice and sooner rather than later I hope :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Writing is like a lot of other hands-on type jobs where you can learn as you go. You can learn all the rules and all the grammar at school, but to actually write well, you have to write. And write. And write. And school really doesn’t help with that.

    I’d recommend starting a Jane Austen read with Pride and Prejudice. It’s the most well-known and easiest to get into. Some of the others require a bit more patience. I loved Emma, but hated the first few chapters.

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    1. See that’s what I am thinking, writing is a learn-as-you-go type job. I plan to start with Pride and Prejudice then move on to Sense and Sensibility. I wasn’t sure what to read after but I think I will try Emma since you enjoyed it :)

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      1. My three favorites are Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion.

        Northanger Abbey is fun, but you have to know first that it’s a satire on the young women who were into the gothic novels of the day. There’s a great movie version of Mansfield Park that takes some liberties with the book. Fanny is cooler in the movie than she is in the book. Stronger. She’s a little wallflower in the book.

        I’ve never been fond of Sense and Sensibility. My problem is I don’t like Marianne, the Sensibility sister.

        Years ago I got a compilation that had all the finished novels. I still have it somewhere…

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  4. Hi. Great quote and one you obviously relate to. I’ve done an evening class in creative writing, no MA, but I would love too! Just too expensive for me, and where would I find the time to blog if I did? So not for me at the moment, I just write and hope it will be good enough. One of the things I would really recommend is joining a writer’s group to share ideas, and critique each other’s work. Well worth doing.

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  5. Hi,
    I know Silver Threading and Send Sunshine. I agree with what you wrote. That’s the beauty of the Internet. I’m Janice from Reflections. Thank you so much for following my blog. Welcome to Reflections!

    Like

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