Her Ink · Reading

Madeleine L’Engle’s Secret to Success

Author Spotlight Madeleine L'Engle
I first read something by Madeleine when I was 14. It was an interesting time in my life, my parents had just let me know that they were getting a divorce. I feel like the books you read when you’re going through a hard time stick with you more than the books you read at other times in your life. Which is maybe why books you read as a child and especially in middle school stick with you forever (Because, let’s be real, those are TOUGH times).
The first book that I read by her was A Ring of Endless Light. I loved this book because it dealt with grief and first loves and dolphins and poetry. It was everything that I needed at the time. It’s still a book that I turn to every year or so. It reminds me of who I am and who I want to be. It combined my love of writing and science.
I loved this book so much that I read everything by her that I could get my hands on. I read all of the Austin Family Chronicles and all of the Wrinkle in Time series.
I looked her up on Goodreads and found out that she actually wrote a ton of books that I haven’t read yet (my to-read list just got longer…). If you want to see the full list, click here.
Reading an interview with her is one of the reasons that I decided to try writing by hand. In the interview she said that she wrote her books by hand and typed them up on a typewriter later. It also made me want to buy a typewriter. Probably I would never use it. Probably it would be a fun paperweight, but I admire her so much that it made it feel like that’s the best way to write a good book.
There’s simply something different about the books that are written by hand. There seems to be a thoughtfulness that often falls to the way side when they’re written on a computer. I wasn’t all that surprised when I found another author whose work I loved also wrote her books by hand.
Her writing is beautiful and deep. It makes me want to be a better writer. When I feel like I’m in a writing lull where I don’t really feel like writing, reading her writing makes me want to write. Especially poetry. Its the kind of work that makes me want to follow my dreams.  She’s the first writer that really made me feel like I could be a writer if I wanted to, though she certainly wasn’t the last.
Who’s your favorite author? How did you discover them?
Also, if you want to read more about the benefits of writing by hand, here are some resources:
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2 thoughts on “Madeleine L’Engle’s Secret to Success

  1. I didn’t know that – of course back in that day, they didn’t have computers with Word and auto correct and all that jazz, so I guess you probably had to think more about what you wanted to say. Who was the other hand-writer you found?

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