A tip from John Steinbeck

You probably read ‘Of mice and men’ at school, loved Lenny, hated Curly, got confused about what a ‘glove full of Vaseline’ was, you know, the usual. So you will be familiar about the man in question. Incidentally, if you haven’t read it, go and read it, it’s great.

John Steinbeck not only had an amazing moustache but he had some pretty cool advice too. There is a lovely writing tip of his that really resonates with me, I wonder if it will help you too? When I first began to get serious about writing I was all over the place, truth be told, I still am, but in a more controlled manor! I wanted to please everyone, all at the same time, and ended up getting myself in a tizzy. That’s when I came across this quote and sat back, took a breath and let it sink in.


This. This is what changed everything for me. Writing to please one person, one single reader makes it easier to keep things in perspective. You don’t even have to tell that person they are your ‘person’ or ‘reader’, just write. For them. It will flow, I promise.

My ‘one person’ knows who they are, I chose to tell her. Helen is one of my best friends and my boyfriends sister. And most of all I trust her, I know she will always give me her honest opinion on what I have written, even if it’s not what I want to hear. She is the only person who I let read things that I know need work but cant see how to improve it. I love telling her about new ideas I have as she gets as excited as I do about them, she helps me develop them further. She never judges me or makes me feel bad, she praises me when I need it and tells me when I am not making sense; usually with a few choice swear words, cos she knows how I roll! Love you Helen!!

Since writing for her I have been able to write a book, an entire book, something I have tried to do on and off for most of my life. There is a strange sense of comfort knowing that the only person you have to please with your writing is them. Everything is scaled down and bought into focus. You can write with clarity and purpose. At least I can, when I write for Helen.

I hope you are able to find your ‘Helen’ and write for that ‘one person’ like Mr Steinbeck tells us too. The dude knows what he is talking about!

See you soon……….


Jerra is a tea drinking, pen stealing, story teller with a weakness for stationary. She has a love for all things floral and likes nothing more than to be surrounded by flowers while she works on her latest novel in the yellow room. She can also be found in her coop, reading and sharing tea with her beloved chickens.

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