Writing tips from Erica Jong

  • “I think writing elevates my mood because it’s a way of imposing order on chaos.”
  • “In order to tell a story you have to find sequence in experience. Sequence is a way of understanding an experience that has previously been obscure.”
  • “If you want to be a nice person, don’t write. There’s no way to do it without grinding up your loved ones and making them into raw hamburger.”
  • “No one ever asks for a new book, but you need to write it. And your need will eventually infect your reader.”
  • “Whatever is not fixed in language drifts away.”
  • “All autobiography is fiction and all fiction is autobigraphy…”
  • ^Erica JongIMG_7691
  • “All fantastic literature had only 4 plots: The mingling of dream and realty, the double, time travel and the book within the book.”-jorge luis borges


  1. linnetmoss · January 7, 2016

    Thanks for this! I recently read “Fear of Flying” for the first time and I can see why she said that you grind your relatives into hamburger! She certainly did. I haven’t used my family in my fiction as much as Jong does, but I agree that there are always autobiographical elements, because we all must draw on our own experience, even if we transform it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • parentified · January 7, 2016

      I’m obsessed with her confessional writing style and her admission that its all based on her narrative…if you read more of her work, you’ll see its very regurgitated. One book is officially autobio and the next the fictionalized version of it. She is thrifty and easy in a way I aspire to write. And possibly, scarily, also to live.

      Liked by 1 person

      • linnetmoss · January 9, 2016

        Well, she certainly has lived to the full!


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