Saturday, March 02, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss - An Inspiration to Writers

March 2nd is the day a very wonderful man was born. Theodor Seuss Geisel; born in 1904 - he died in 1991. Happy 109th birthday, to the most beloved children's author in the world.

Did you know that he wrote under several names? Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg, and Rosetta Stone? Yep, that was a new one for me too. I always thought Rosetta Stone was a language teaching software. 

Here's an interesting fact from Wikipedia: "He was a perfectionist in his work and he would sometimes spend up to a year on a book. It was not uncommon for him to throw out 95% of his material until he settled on a theme for his book. For a writer he was unusual in that he preferred to only be paid after he finished his work rather than in advance."

How many writers can say they do that in this day? Dr. Seuss, (pronounced like "goose" rather than how he originally pronounced it like "voice") and his submission style can be a standard of which other writers can aspire. 

"Dr. Seuss practiced what he preached: his first book, And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by 27 different publishers before it finally got picked up. “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” Seuss once wrote. Try, try, try again, he did." Read more:

Perseverance is the name of the game. Never give up, writers. Never give up.

Copies of Dr. Seuss's books
I can quote you all the books he wrote and the number of sales he had, but leave it said that he sold a LOT of books. And, he wrote so many I can't count.

He was a prolific writer, not only in books, but in the advertising world, and as a cartoonist. Mr. Geisel, before he became the renowned "Dr. Seuss", did basically anything he could to make ends meet during the hard times of the Great Depression and World War II. Most of his work during that time was with advertising for such companies as: Flit ( an insecticide), General Electric, Standard Oil, NBC, and a local brewing company. He never gave up on his illustrations,stories and humorous articles. He published in Vanity Fair, Life, Judge, and other newspapers and magazines. 

March 2nd is also the day set aside for National Read Across America day. What a great gift Dr. Seuss left to this world.

Although Dr. Seuss made a point of not putting a moral in his stories, he's been quoted as saying "kids can see a moral coming a mile off", he wasn't opposed to writing about issues and was quoted "there's an inherent moral in any story" and that he was "subversive as hell".

Do you consciously put a moral in your stories? Do you intend to have one when you start your story or does it just come naturally at the end?

I write about strong women put through major conflict that challenges their identity as a person to see how they react and how they grow as they fight their way through.

What do you write about and how do your characters grow?


Nancy said...

Dr. Seuss was subversive--in the most uplifting way. Happy birthday!

Betty Manousos said...

brilliant aricle! love dr. seuss!

visiting via sits,
have a great sunday!:)

Betty Manousos said...

...and happy birthday!

Britton said...

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors to read to my daughters. Love all of his books!

Unknown said...

I'm a teacher and I do a bunch of Dr. Seuss related activities with my students for Read Across America and I'm always kind of taken aback by the fact that 27 people rejected him. I don't think I'd have the courage to keep going for it after that. Thank goodness he did. Imagine a world without grinches or snoodles or any of his creatures!

Stopping by from SITS

another jennifer said...

Rosetta Stone? Now there's something I never knew. Thanks for sharing these bits of info. I love Dr. Seuss and so do my kids! He's timeless.

Unknown said...

When it's my turn to pick a book for the kids, I RUSH for anything by Dr. Suess. thanks for this!

Unknown said...

Very interesting and informative post about Dr. Seuss. I am a new Follower of your Blog.
Judy - Judy H-J's Thoughts

Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama said...

What a great post about Dr. Seuss! I didn't know about Rosetta Stone and I certainly didn't know the correct pronunciation of his name. One of my favorite authors, a legend.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Hello Everyone, thanks for posting on my Dr Seuss blog post. He was an amazing man, yes, Nancy, very subversive. It was so much fun to write the article for his birthday commemoration. I think his works are timeless and will stay classics forever. Have a blessed day!

Michelle said...

Oh I love Dr. Suess!! I think we have all of his books and I will save them for my grandkids down the road. They are absolutely wonderful!