Sunday, 28 July, 2013 - 15:18

The Early Works of Famous Authors

by Rachel Lewis

I think some of my previous blog posts have alluded to the fact that I am a keen reader and really promote it among learners of English. In writing this post, I am looking at my favourite author in a new light.

As a typical girl I am a fan of most romantic literature and have for many years been a Jane Austen addict. I could read Pride and Prejudice every summer if it weren't for the judgemental remarks of my family! I recently left the full time job I have been doing for a year, and was given a gift card by the generous colleagues I was working with. Keen to cheer myself up, I took said gift card with me the following day to my local book store, and was attracted to a book encompassing many of Jane Austen's pieces from her teenage years as well as her unfinished novels.

I should say that I haven't yet finished this book. What strikes me is that I am seeing how Jane Austen became the fantastic author of Pride and Prejudice and other classics, and it is evident that she started out as any other young girl. I think I believed that she was born a genius and didn't have to work very hard to create the amazing books I love so well. No. What I am reading shows the improvement Jane Austen made on her early works and how she developed as an author over several years of hard graft, resulting in the ability to write those novels.

I remember writing "creative fiction" in English lessons at school, and feeling appalled and angered by my inability to write anything worth reading. These lessons, when I was probably 14 or 15, came at the wrong time - I was too shy to really explore my creativity. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so hard on myself and instead could have redrafted and tried different styles. As a blogger it is natural that I enjoy writing, so why didn't I use this skill more? This is a question I don't know the answer to, but as a qualified teacher, I now feel it my duty to impress on the young people in my classroom that they do all have the ability to be creative.

If you have a favourite author, it might be possible to find some of the work they started on. However, the inset page of this book I am reading states that Jane Austen is the exception, as other famous authors have burnt their first attempts at writing, maybe suggesting my embarrassment was not an overreaction!

Language level

Who's your favourite author? Do you enjoy reading and/or writing? 

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