5 Fun Tips on Writing and on Life – from Agatha Christie on the Occasion of her Birthday

Author-Agatha-ChristieAgatha Christie was born 123 years ago today–an old bird by any measure, and yet she remains one of the most read authors ever. Here are a few tips from the master to consider next time you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), or simply lean in to life:

On character:

You know that in all tombs there is always a false door? … Well, people are like that too. They create a false door – to deceive. If they are conscious of weakness, of inefficiency, they make an imposing door of self-assertion, of bluster, of overwhelming authority – and, after a time, they get to believe in it themselves. They think, and everybody thinks, that they are like that. But behind that door … is a bare rock … And so when reality comes and touches them with the feather of truth – their true self reasserts itself.” (from Death Comes as the End)


“Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them.” (from “The Witness for the Prosecution”)

One to keep in mind when you’re submitting work:

“Courage is the resolution to face the unforeseen.” (from Death Comes at the End)

On persistence:

“The stories all returned promptly with the usual slip: ‘The Editor regrets…’ Then I would parcel them up again and send them off to some other magazine.” (from her autobiography)

And the last, from her autobiography, is as true about characters as it is about real life love:

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous, that you realize just how much you love them.”

With that, I’m off to be a little ridiculous! Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie! – Meg