George Bernard Shaw

How to become an author

Letters to a young writer, 1920

13th April 1920
Lucan House
Lucan Co.
Dublin

Dear Sir:

I go to Welwyn, not to see people, but to avoid seeing them and get some work done.

May I point out to you that the discrepancy of 48 years between our ages makes me rather shy of encouraging you to choose me as a new acquaintance. Try a younger man. I already have more friends than I have time to entertain; and I am poor company for literary novices.

Nobody can help you in literature. Write what you can; and get it published as best you may. And don’t expect anyone except a publisher’s reader to read it before it is in print.

Make friends with rising suns, not with the setting ones.

Faithfully,
G. Bernard Shaw

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