As I start another book, I’m getting off another message to those of you who read my blogs. And I notice that some of the recent responses from you ask about my writing habits.

For those of you who also write, I always say that there is no one ‘right way’ to do it (or anything in life). Some people write half a page a day and agonize over each word and sentence. Others write pages and pages, and that’s fine too. Whatever works. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s writing style or habits. We each do whatever works best for us.

One of you asked ‘where to start’ when you finish your novel. The first thing you need is an agent. Most publishers won’t read books that don’t come through an agent. So you need to find an agent to get your work published. I know there are lists of agents in literary journals, and it can be harder to find an agent than a publisher, but you really have to. And then it’s the agent’s job to send your book to publishers. It’s usually a long slow process, and perseverance is the name of the game. I was very lucky that my first book was published—but the next 5 weren’t, and were never sold or published. But my 7th book was. If I had given up before that, I would never have had the career I have today. So you just have to keep at it and not give up (as with most things in life), and keep writing.

Someone else asked if I would consider writing a book about how I write, and the answer to that is: No, I wouldn’t. That seems pretty dull to me. (You just have to plant your bottom in a chair, keep it there, and do it. There’s not a lot of mystery to it). So, no, I would never write a book about how I write.

Another person asked about my writing schedule, do I write all year round, etc. And that person very wisely guessed that my success is based on hard work—and oh boy, is that true! I work very, very hard. Very early in my career ( I only had one baby when I started writing), I figured out that if you wait for time and the opportunity to present themselves—it never happens, and you don’t get anything done. So I made writing my priority, and I turned down just about everything else. For about 30 years, I never had lunch with friends, never broke into my writing time. And my rule of thumb about school related activities for my kids, was that if the child was actually involved (like a school play or a track meet), I was always there—-but if my kid wasn’t present, I didn’t go—-which meant no ‘coffees for Mom’s, no PTA meetings, etc.) The only greater priority in my life was my family, my children and husband. They always came first—but after that, I turned down just about everything else so I could write.

In one form or another, I do pretty much write every day. Not always on a book, sometimes it’s an article or an essay, a poem or a thought, this blog, or a series of letters and emails. In order to feel comfortable, I need big chunks of time to write. I always allow myself more time than I need for a book, because if I feel crowded, or pressed for time, then I cant’ write. I need the luxury of time, with nothing else to do.

My process is that first I have an idea, and it may only be a tiny kernel of an idea, something that intrigues me. It may just be a thought, a tiny piece of something about a person, a news item, something in history, or a philosophy about life. I start making notes, and do so for several months usually, as the story emerges in my head. Sometimes I sit for hours, just staring into space, pursuing the idea. And then about the characters to go with it. And then one day, I sit down at my typewriter and write the outline for the story. By then, I pretty much know the story. And the outline tells the story chapter by chapter. The outlines are anywhere from 40 to 70 pages long. And then I go over the outline, correcting it and making changes. And when I’m comfortable with it, I send it to my editor and agent, and they suggest some changes. I make those changes if I agree with them, without compromising the essence of the book, and then send the outline to my publisher. And by then, it is a total mess, with things crossed out, corrected, written over, full of asterisks ( my editors hate the mess I make!! and beg me to change my typewriter ribbon more often, which I forget to do, and when I’m excited about what I’m writing). And then my publisher suggests changes too, so I do another re-write on the outline. And whenever I write, I do nothing else. That’s all I do, so as not be distracted from the book. When my kids were little, I only wrote at night after they went to bed. But now that they’re grown up and in college, I write night and day when I’m working.

Once the outline is set, I put it away, and let it simmer for a while. And I am usually working on 3 to 5 different books, in various stages at the same time. I work it all the way through to the end of the story, and then put it away for a while, and it continues to cook somewhere, in the back of my head.

When I start a book, it is like climbing a mountain. Brutal, exhausting, an endurance contest. I start the book and don’t leave my desk until the first draft is finished. I work from the outline, but the book just flows on its own (like a movie I see and hear in my head—and sometimes even I’m surprised at what I’m seeing and hearing!) I cry at the sad parts, laugh at something funny one of the characters said. My life becomes totally populated by the people of the book. I don’t talk to anyone (except my kids when they call me), don’t return calls, don’t see anyone, and don’t leave the house. I go from my bed to my desk, to my bathtub at the end of my workday, then back to bed, and then back to work. I work about 20 to 22 hours straight, sleep for 3 or 4 hours, and then go back to work. And I do that until I have told the story and the first draft is finished. Michelangelo called it ‘stealing it from the stone’, when he carved a statue. I’m almost afraid to stop working at night because I’m afraid I’ll forget where I was going with the story, but I don’t forget. And I keep on going until I’m through. That first draft is very rough, and full of mistakes. I read it many, many times afterwards, making corrections, and then when I’m satisfied with it, I send it to my editor (and agent), and then she sends me back a ton of corrections and changes she wants made. I do most of them and re-write it, and the book goes back and forth that way for many months, while I correct it and polish it. And between rounds of working on that book, I work on others. And each time I come back to a book, I see new things I want to improve, polish, or change. I usually re-write a book off and on for well over a year, even a year and a half. And if I need historical research, or about an industry, or geography, my researcher gives it to me (to read and digest) before, during, and after the book, and I weave it in where I need it. So as you can see, it’s a long, arduous process.

I write in old, comfy wool nightgowns, bundled up at my desk. I don’t see anyone. I don’t comb my hair for weeks. And my only concessions to beauty are soap and toothpaste. I just don’t exist while I’m writing, except to tell the story. And if readers say they couldn’t put it down, it’s because I didn’t either, and if they cried, so did I. People bring me food on trays and I literally don’t stop until I’m finished. I don’t go out, I don’t have fun. But I get to go out and play when I finish the book!!!

One of the odd things I’ve noticed is that when I’m working on a book, I always have ideas for other books and things I want to write. I’m working on all my burners and all fired up. But when I’m not working, everything goes to sleep, and I rarely get ideas. It’s only when I’m working furiously that I get more ideas. I know, it’s weird.

So that’s how I do it, and it’s fun to do, although a huge amount of work. When you work 22 hours a day, or even slightly less, everything hurts after a while (at any age), your back hurts, your neck is killing you, every muscle is shrieking. I write until I damn near drop. And even once I’m exhausted, I keep going, and push myself harder. Sometimes that’s when you do your best work. Sometimes my fingers get swollen form typing (I have ice mittens), and often my nails bleed from so much typing. It’s a crazy way to make a living but I love it.

I don’t know where the ideas come from, they just do. I try to know that I’m unimportant in the process, that I’m just a vehicle for the story, like a pane of glass that light shines through. When I start to feel important, light shines through me like linoleum. I think you need a certain amount of humility to do it. It’s a gift, and I’m very grateful for it.

It’s pretty brutal physically, but somewhere you find the strength to do it.

One person asked if I do it all year around. I try not to. For more than 30 years, my life has revolved around my children and their schedules, so I always tried to work it so that I was totally free during their vacations, and I never worked in summer so I could be free for them. That’s still true now as they vacation with me in summer, and three are still in college. So I work like a dog all winter (I work hardest between October and May/June), and take the summer months off. Sometimes now I get a re-write to do in summer, but I try to stay free during June through September, and I don’t work over the Christmas holidays so I can be with them, without distractions, although I’m often making notes on an outline.

When they were young, I was with them all day, and wrote from about 8pm til 3am, then I’d sleep (provided no one got an ear ache, a stomach ache, and didn’t have a nightmare), and up in the morning. Once they were in school, I’d write while they were in school, and then stop in time to pick them up at school and take them to their activities. I’m always in my office by 8am. And I’m blessed that I don’t need a lot of sleep. I manage fine on 4 or 5 hours, which with a writing career and 9 kids is a huge blessing! And my deal with my husband who is the father of my children, and the man I married after him—-was that I would go to bed with them at night, but get up to write as soon as they went to sleep. I was happy to adjust my life to my husband and kids, but now that I’m alone I push harder and keep writing. And I’m always a little sad when I finish a book, I miss the people in it. But once the book is finished, it’s over for me, and I move to the next one. I work a lot of the time. (And I’ve written 106 books, since the first one when I was 19).

Somebody else asked me when and how much I read. Not enough!! I have always been extremely careful not to read anyone else’s work while I’m writing. There is always the possibility that you could be inspired by someone without even realizing it, so I don’t take that chance. I only read when I am not working at all, usually in the summer months, and never when I’m in high writing mode. The only thing I read then is the Bible, or religious articles to inspire me.

So that’s pretty much the story of how I write. Occasionally a rude or crabby reader will write to suggest that I must have other people writing for me. No. No such luck, there are no elves in my basement. I do it all myself…..and I’m so glad that most of my readers seem to enjoy what I do. And now….I’m off to start the new book. Talk to you soon.

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80 Comments so far
  1. Kathryn Magendie February 17, 2009 3:12 pm

    Someone actually writes and asks you if you have help writing your books? Geez…wow…*shaking my head*

    It can be lonely sometimes, this writing life. I wouldn’t trade it for the life I had to lead before, though -when I had to work outside the home out of necessity.

    My big regret is waiting so long to get back to my writing after many years of leaving it behind…forgetting who I was as I struggled…with some things. But, another part of me thinks, well, this was how it is and that’s that…and I hope I have another 51 years to write! I hope, at least, I get to write twice the number of years I “wasted” not writing! –which will near that figure, huhn.

    Now, though, the words spill out as if a faucet has been cranked to “on”….not everything is good, but it is words and words!

    106 books- I think sometimes, that could have been me too! If I’d have …this and that and if if — If only’s don’t help anyone! *smiling* So I have …From Now On’s!

    I enjoyed reading your process – I agree with you – all writers are different, but where we are the same is the “plant the butt in the chair and write!”

    I can’t imagine the days I wasn’t writing – I was like a robot through life – now, well, now I am Living and Home and my sense of Place is intact – I am where and who I am supposed to be…if I don’t write, I begin to feel a bit strange – sad, down…and grumpy!

    Oh, this is too long; so sorry -I am babbling!

    I don’t have an agent – I went with a small press, but am quite happy with Bellebooks…

  2. marienicole February 18, 2009 6:40 am

    Bon matin Grande Dame,

    Il n existe pas de recettes pour appeler des idées à la vie et les habiller de mots…je suis d accord avec votre vision des choses…Le cerveau et le coeur humain sont ainsi faits que c est en écrivant qu on écrit…j ai écrit beaucoup de textes de chanson qui sont hélas orphelin de musiques!j aimerais m essayer à autre chose…le roman m effraie…j ai peur d y perdre des plumes ou la plume loll j ai lu et relu religieusement tous vos chefs-d oeuvre et j y ai trouvé une bouée de sauvetage qui me permettrait enfin de me jeter à l eau loll j ai choisi l un de vos romans et j en ai imaginé la suite ça constitue un guide solide pour mes premiers pas dans l univers de l écriture romanesque…ne craignez rien…je ne publierai pas mais peut être qu un jour je vous enverrai mon brouillon pour que vous réalisiez tout le potentiel qui existe encore quand vous décidez d écrire le mot …fin! Continuez Danielle vos histoires et vos personnages sont comme des petits pains chauds recouverts de confitures; ils réchauffent l âme et le corps!
    Marie de Montréal Québec

  3. kimmi February 18, 2009 6:47 am

    This is all good insight. And about “others writing for you” there will always be other people who try to pee on another’s parade. I say phooey and they are jealous and need to concentrate more on what sacrifices they should be giving to make their projects work.

    Ms. Steel, best of luck on the start of your new book. Will check in from time to time.

    Kat above me — I simply can’t wait to read your book, Tender Graces. Sounds like you’re off to a good start and the faucet isn’t going to run dry for a long time, sweetie. ; )

  4. Holly P February 18, 2009 7:34 am

    Wow…enough said.

  5. Debra Shiveley Welch February 18, 2009 10:02 am

    I never thought I would be able to say this, but you sound like me. 🙂

    I am 56, and my son is 16. I take him to school and pick him up, and in the meantime, I write, write, write. It is a drug and I do not ever want to go into rehab!

    Like you, I do not read when I am writing. I am afraid that I will accidentally reproduce something. This is especially true with unpublished writers who want me to read their work. I have to be finished with a project before I will look at their work.

    I work from an outline, but I sometimes change it. I acquaint it to a road map: You are going on a trip and write down your directions. Halfway to your destination, you see a sign. “Wow that looks like a great way to go. Let’s take a little side trip and see what this has to offer.” Sometimes it is an interesting detour, and becomes an integral part of your journey. Sometimes, it is a waste of time. In any event, you get back on the main road and continue toward your destination.

    I noticed that you mentioned your editor a few times. I find that not using an editor is one of the biggest mistakes new authors make. Unless they are an English major or something to that affect, it is a big mistake. Edit, edit and then edit, and then hire a professional to edit. Yes, “edit” three times in one sentence. It is that important.

    Finally, thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. It is fascinating as well as helpful. You have also made me feel very comfortable with my writing habits, since they compare to yours very closely. I also “simmer,” but thought perhaps I should be writing. Now I know that the “simmering” is good. 🙂

  6. Juli February 18, 2009 11:22 am

    Ms. Steele
    You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your process. It’s so cool to hear how you come up with amazing characters like Carole Barber and Tanya Harris and Annabelle Worthington and my latest fav by far the characters from Amazing Grace. Your characters come alive. I cherish your books. It gives me “ME” time and you never fail to entertain. But aside from your gift of storytelling I truly admire your priority of family and children first. Selflessness is very rare these and you are right. Just know there are those of us in the trenches (mothering, wife, working, etc…) who truly love and appreciate your gifts and your hard work. God bless you…

  7. Bebe Gumeter February 19, 2009 9:47 am

    Hello, Ms. Steel,l read all of your books and share them with my friends. I must say i’m considering of writing too. I think i do better recording what i want to write on a cassette recorder. This may sound dookey but what the heck…Subjescts basically about my cats and dogs. I’m divorced and enjoy very much. And No I don’t care if i eat by myself in a Restaurant, i bring a book to read or my MP3 gizmo. I don’t have regrets about being single. I’m pretty much keep myself busy. I love cooking, decorating, crocheting and love to work in my yard.

  8. Angela Johnson February 19, 2009 11:54 am

    I also miss your characters when I finish your book. Especially in The Ranch. I could not wait for the next opportunity I had to read more pages and now that I am finished with the book I really miss it. I catch myself getting excited for the next time I can read the book but I am struck with the reality that it is finished….:( I tried to read a different book by a different author however I found myself bored. It looks like I will be beginning another one of your books. Your stories keep me so intrigued. I have H.R.H on my bookshelf screaming to be picked up:).I have only 2 children and I time to read is few and far between but this year my goal is to read at least 1 book each month. I cannot image how you juggled 9 children in addition to anything else. You must have great perseverance. You are amazing. Thank you for your stories. Your books, each one of them,are gifts to your readers.

  9. Nancy Rae February 20, 2009 11:09 am

    Hello Ms. Steel,

    I’m envious of writers like you who pop out books so fast, one after the other! I know writing is hard work. It’s life itself when one is composing such a creation.

    I consider myself a writer. As a child I wrote tons of stories, just for fun. I was always so imaginative…Still am. 🙂

    Now, I’m married, I don’t have children, but a husband who keeps me busy. I’ve written a lot of stories that are on my computer. I had an agent a couple times, but my book didn’t get published. I still have it somewhere in the house.

    But I did publish a book that sells on Amazon called, “A MATTER OF TIME”. I started it just for fun, really, writing the first draft for myself. I said, “no one will see it,”, but as it turned out, after I completed it, I ended up having 3 different stories, so I had to decide which one I would go with–which plot I would use.

    I lived the rewrite. The characters were inside of me. I didn’t want to do anything else while I wrote. I’d be upset, even to stop and make dinner!

    My story came to be about male sexual abuse, because it is a subject ignored by society, but needs to be addressed. I came to know a real male sexual abuse survivor and learned from him, all the pain he endured healing as a young boy, into a man. I wrote what I knew, the stories I researched on MaleSurvivor.org. Ms. Steel, there are so many victims, it’s hard to imagine. One in 6 males are sexually abused before their 16th birthday!

    I wrote from my heart and soul. I don’t think I could ever write anything like that again, as it wasn’t just sitting down to write a book, it was something deep inside of me. An issue, a cause I care about so much.

    Thank you for allowing me to share my experience. God bless you.

  10. Vickey McGee February 20, 2009 7:19 pm

    I enjoyed your blog on writing immensly. I have written a few things and have even had one published. Am in the process of writing a book, so I can relate to all that you go through while writing.

  11. Victoria Rice February 21, 2009 4:16 am

    Dear Ms. Steel
    I cant believe people thought that you have people writing for you.
    It reminds me of a quote from Mark Twain which went like this:
    Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
    I’d like to thank you for your thoughts on writing, very insightful. Also I think it’s wonderful that there are so many people out there who support you and read your blog. To all the people who have left comments for Ms. Steel, you are truly great individuals. If I was a writer and I had such encouraging comments left for me, my heart would be very full.
    Bonne chance avec votre livre!
    Victoria xox

  12. Amy Limpach February 23, 2009 12:36 pm

    Dear Ms. steele,
    I have all your books and Movies, I Watch them all the time. I really lihe the RANCH,House,and palAmo. I can’t wait to read ONE DAY AT TIME.
    Amy Limpach

  13. Sunday February 27, 2009 5:32 am

    Dear Ms. Steel,

    Tears are pouring down my face as I type this note to you. I am 44 years old and all I have ever wanted to be was a writer. I have felt this was since I was a little girl after reading Charlottes Web when I was 8 yrs old. My daughter is grown now and my husband encourages me every single day to “Write that book you’ve been dreaming about.” For 20 yrs. now, my head has been swimming with romance. I never started a book because, you see, I have been paralyzed with the “fear” of failure. Ridiculous, isn’t it?
    After reading about you on this website, I have decided to JUST DO IT! You, as well as every book you have ever written about romance, have been my biggest inspiration. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for just being You. God bless.

  14. Jonathan Eloff March 8, 2009 9:38 am

    Wow, 22 hours a day? Even if that’s part hyperbole, that’s incredible. I feel like I’ve done hard day’s work after four hours and eight pages–2000+ words. I’m amazed that your body has held up under the strain for so long. Each writer definitely has his or her own style, though I must say that I’m envious of your maniacally hard-working one. It’s something to aim for, I suppose.

    Also, I, too, find that I’m constantly getting new ideas for books while I’m writing. And I can definitely relate to the problems inherent with reading other people’s books while you’re writing. I don’t believe I end up stealing their ideas or inspiration, however, my writing style does seem to subtly change to more closely mimic that of the author whose book I’m currently reading.

    Well, keep up the good work! It’s time for me to get back to mine.

  15. Jaishree Mahalingam March 17, 2009 1:35 pm


    Let me start with saying how much I love your books. I am 30 years old and I first started reading your books when I was about 12, which means that I have grown up with your writing. When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer and I had even written a couple of short stories. But, I gave up due to peer criticism and also because writing is not really considered to be a proper job or a worthwhile profession in my local community. Also, till one of your books is really accepted by the audience, it is really difficult to concentrate on it full-time as you need to earn something to sustain yourself as well.

    Anyway, now I work for a call center by night and I am considering the option of writing at least part-time. I understand that there is a whole lot of research which goes into a book. Since you are a successful writer now, you have an agent who does your research for you. But, back in the days when you started, how did you do your research with respect to different geographies, culture, history, etc.? Do help me with some hints as to how I can start. The writing genre I would like to follow is again similar to yours, romantic fiction. Any suggestions you can give as to how I can do my research would be really helpful. Because, I have noticed that your books have the most wonderful detailing about all the different stuff of that period like clothes, geographies, historical facts, etc. Also, advise me on whether I should start with small stories, and then move on to try and write a proper novel.

    Last but not the least, I would like to give a special mention to some of your books which are really dear to my heart. The first on the list is No Greater Love. I have read this book several times, but I still end up crying when I read certain parts of the book. A few others which I can read again and again and again……Changes, Jewels, Family Album, Zoya, The Gift……..and the list goes on and on.

    Of course, I would like to mention some books which I didn’t like…….The Klone and I…..and some others.

    Love and regards,


  16. Heidi April 5, 2009 12:28 pm

    Dear Ms. Steel
    I have never read any of your books, until a great-aunt of mine was placed in a nursing home and her collection of your books was giving to me, not to long ago (she loved your writings). I am at this time reading ‘His Bright Light’ can I tell you that my heart goes out to you and your family. My best friend suffers from mental illness as well, and I know first hand how awful it can be, not only for them, but for us who love them. I wanted to tell you, although I have not yet finished the book of Nick, I think you are an amazing person for all your love and efforts shown to your son. I have an enormous amount respect for you, and now, through your words, I will always remember your son, Nick. A very sad ending to what seems like a wonderful person, but one thing was for sure, Nick was blessed with a wonderful Mother.
    May God be with you and your family, always… H.D.

  17. robin riley April 16, 2009 11:38 pm

    whole books are written “on writing” that don’t convey the process nearly as straightforward as the post above. if you need to do it to live, like eat and sleep, you will find the chair, the typewriter or pencil and paper, and do it because you will die if you dont.
    thank you, ms. steel, this is the first time i have been to your site and it is absolutely beautiful.

  18. Philip April 23, 2009 6:05 pm

    How inspiring. Thanks for sharing, I always, always wanted to know. You are an inspiration…
    Thank you.

  19. Manuela May 5, 2009 7:06 pm

    Dear Ms. Steele,

    Many years ago, before God filled my life with His heaven-sent stars; one of each miracle, a blue & pink, I had time for my love of reading.

    I used to collect your novels. They have since disappeared over time…passed around through the bookshelves of my youth and eventually lost by a life disrupted by divorce. But like millions of people, I loved your books.

    I have recently started reading again. One of the first few books I chose was “His Bright Light”, which I just finished, maybe an hour ago. To say your story is heartbreaking..cannot come close to what you all lived.

    Your son Nick’s light, shone so bright & beautiful for as long as it was, because of your love.

    He shines still in the rays of a sunny morning and from the light of a full moon and everything they illuminate.

    Wishing you continued love, health & success.

  20. sophie sharp June 8, 2009 9:01 am

    Thank you very much for your inspration. i was daunted at taking so long to write, but now I know that it’s a natural process

  21. Kimberly Bonano Alvarez July 28, 2009 12:39 pm

    I really enjoyed this post… so interesting to get insight into the way you live and work… so nice of you to share… I am sad when the stories end, too… Maybe you need to make a three-part novel! 🙂

  22. Alisa February 22, 2010 9:19 am

    Should you ever need a researcher (I do it for a living already for media)….

  23. Donna Frey February 24, 2010 11:19 am


    I know you have heard a trillion ideas for new books. For me, “Who Am I!!!”. I am 49 yrs old.
    Beautiful, inside and out. Gorgeous Children, Successful, at times, (TILL).

    Donna Frey

  24. DL September 26, 2010 10:17 pm

    This was incredibly insightful and really quite an amazing thing to post here, so thank you for doing that. I can’t quite imagine structuring my life in that way, but I can see how it works for you. When I am on a deadline (usually self-imposed) and I simply have to get something done, all else takes a backseat and the only noise you can hear from my general direction is the click of the keys and whatever music is powering my mood.

  25. […] posted a link to this blog entry by Danielle Steel on Twitter the other day, and I was pleased to see her say pretty much the same thing. “The […]

  26. links for 2010-09-28 « Unjustly September 28, 2010 6:30 am

    […] Writing : daniellesteel.net When you work 22 hours a day, or even slightly less, everything hurts after a while (at any age), your back hurts, your neck is killing you, every muscle is shrieking. I write until I damn near drop. And even once I’m exhausted, I keep going, and push myself harder. Sometimes that’s when you do your best work. Sometimes my fingers get swollen form typing (I have ice mittens), and often my nails bleed from so much typing. It’s a crazy way to make a living but I love it. I don’t know where the ideas come from, they just do. I try to know that I’m unimportant in the process, that I’m just a vehicle for the story, like a pane of glass that light shines through. When I start to feel important, light shines through me like linoleum. I think you need a certain amount of humility to do it. It’s a gift, and I’m very grateful for it. It’s pretty brutal physically, but somewhere you find the strength to do it. (tags: writing process writers) […]

  27. […] Sometimes I sit for hours, just staring into space, pursuing the idea. […]

  28. Emily December 2, 2010 1:44 pm

    wow…I’m so glad there are people who get me!! I love reading about other writers. 🙂 I’m a 14-year-old freshman in highschool, and if school and friends and family would allow me to operate on this scheudule, it’d be heaven. I’ve been writing for a long time and it’s a huge goal of mine to have a book published one day. Anyway, this article made me laugh

  29. Gwen Stickle March 31, 2011 2:26 pm

    I found your post very inspiring and encouraging. Thanks for the helpful tips.

  30. Amarissa Cale March 31, 2011 2:44 pm

    First of all, I would like to say I think you are a fabulous author. Now, I can say I think you are a very lovely person as well! I am ashamed to admit this is the first time I have read your Blog… though it certainly will NOT be the last. You have a personality that shines through your words.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your advice here. I am a novice writer, who has read as many ‘how to’ books and advice columns as I can get my hands on, and am (was) more stressed out than before I began reading such things!

    These things almost never work for me. I am a perfectionist, and wrangle over every word until it is just right… to me. Some advice is sound, such as the overuse of exclamation marks, passiveness, etc. So to hear you say, “I always say that there is no one ‘right way’ to do it” made me feel so good! I try to follow suggested styles, rules and structures, but then my work does not feel like my own. Now, hearing this from you, I can exhale and write my own story, my way!

    If it works for you… it just might work for me too!
    Thank you very much for the time you take to interact with your readers and aspiring authors who will definitely benefit from your advice!
    (Haha… don’t forget to feed your elves. Aren’t they the ones who do your housework while you work on your next project?)

    Cheers, Amma

  31. grishma April 1, 2011 10:11 am

    thank you for writing this post!
    truly inspiring 🙂
    – an aspiring writer

  32. What a woman! | No damn blog April 6, 2011 1:51 am

    […] a fascinating article on her website where she describes her writing process. It left me […]

  33. Twitted by calixofcoffee August 1, 2011 3:34 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by calixofcoffee […]

  34. Ramona Hyman September 5, 2011 11:33 am


    This article is so inspirational. I pray that I can be as discipline as you have been. I am looking forward to reading your latest book, Happy Birthday.



  35. Georgia Mantis September 12, 2011 7:15 pm

    Hello Danielle. I really enjoyed reading your article about your dedication to your writing. Writing takes alot of discipline and dedication but its a precious feeling when you see your books in print. I love writing too and I find its not always easy with distractions in life but I like to preserve and continue to write and create. Its a time consuming passion that I also enjoy. Keep writing and publishing books I am your number one reader
    Greetings from Down Under Australia. Best wishes from Georgia.

  36. gokkasten September 26, 2011 5:05 pm

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I couldn’t find your RSS feed to keep updated. Do you have one?

  37. Eleanor Riley December 13, 2011 2:58 pm

    Dear Ms. Steel: Thank you so much for the signed photograph, i appreciate this so much I will frame it and forever cherish it and will pass it on to my children. Safe Harbor I will always remember. Thanks again, and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    Eleanor Riley
    Brooklyn, New York.

  38. michele beck January 7, 2012 7:47 am

    i have real life every one telling me it would make good story for one of your books how do you tell some one about it i am looking for way to get out their to help w my work thank you michelle

  39. Kim Booth February 12, 2012 12:45 am

    What surprised me is your using continuing to use a proper typewriter. Can on still buy ribbons?

  40. […] I only became  involved in the school activities my children are directly involved with. (Thank you, Danielle Steele!) […]

  41. hotels October 22, 2012 10:34 pm

    Howdy I would like to know where you got this theme from, I want it!

  42. reservation hotel October 22, 2012 10:52 pm

    Hi, I’m sure I read those lines before but the blog had a different theme.Did modify your design? or your articles has been duplicated!

  43. […] Read her blog post here. […]

  44. Marina June 17, 2013 2:16 am

    Truly and from the heart… Thanks, dear Ms. Steel.

  45. Jaelynn Stephens July 21, 2013 8:18 pm

    My friends have always said I should write a book about my life. It’s been a stange one.
    My dream was for Daneille Steele to write my story. would of has she ever condsidered doing that?
    Jaelynn Stephens

  46. Cathy February 7, 2019 5:10 am

    Thank you for sharing! I have read all of your books. I love the stories you tell and I become part of the story! And of course I am always sad when I finish the book.
    Thank you for giving me an escape into our her worlds!

  47. Peggy Filipovits February 7, 2019 6:06 am

    I admire you and all your writing. You are an amazing person. Thank you.

  48. Wanda February 7, 2019 6:32 am

    Your books are my most cherished collection. A few years ago I started reading ebooks, but not Danielle Steel books. For them I need the real hardcover book to add to my now full bookshelf. Guess it’s time to get a second bookshelf for future books. Keep writing. Thank you for so many wonderful hours immersed in your stories.

  49. Linda Lynce February 7, 2019 10:46 am

    Love all your books,retired so I have a lot of time to read,but need more large print books from you.
    Keep well,and keep the stories coming..

  50. may delory February 7, 2019 12:14 pm

    I agree with your comment in this blog about needing time to write to the exclusion of everything else happening around you. Thanks Danielle Steel.

  51. Christine February 7, 2019 12:19 pm

    Thank You, for the lovely insight to you working day.
    I have read all your books and enjoy them very much. I have my Favourites, and have read them more than once.
    I would just like to say you are an insirational writer, once again thank you.

  52. Marilyn Hill February 7, 2019 1:24 pm

    Thank you for this posting. I enjoyed reading it. I have read all your books. I am an 82 year old retired nurse and I have the luxury of spending all day reading your new books as they come out!

  53. Marjorie February 7, 2019 3:53 pm

    Truly inspiring, I grew up reading your books and continue im 56 now and enjoy them all.GOD BLESS AND THANK YOU.

  54. Robin Bagent February 7, 2019 8:00 pm

    Success equals hard work, no matter the industry. Thank you for sharing.

  55. Alison van rijswijk February 7, 2019 9:32 pm

    I really do think your books are amazing. I have all your books the first one was The Ring. Loved it. Have read it at least 10 times over the years.
    I’m truly your number 1 fan.
    Tks for all your wonderful books.
    Love Alison xxxxx ? ? ? ? ?

  56. Eileen mcCarrick February 7, 2019 10:29 pm

    I love all your books. I think your incredibly talented. I have often felt that I’d love to write children’s books and may give it a go. Keep up your incredible talent!!!

  57. Faure February 8, 2019 5:51 am

    Merci…c est merveilleux de vous lire…merci de partager avec nous….merci pour toutes vos histoires. ..

  58. Christina Comer February 10, 2019 5:19 am

    Thank you for all your hard work. I find it very hard to read anything else but your books. I am always comparing. I love your historic books the best. My love to you and your family.

  59. Gloria February 15, 2019 6:56 am

    Danielle, I am 75 years old and have been reading your books since the early 1970’s. I have your whole collection includind Beauchamp Hall. I do have a few favorites but the one that really inspired me was In My Father’s Footsteps. For me being Jewish I was really inspired how this couple survived the Holocost and what happened to them after they escaped. It was a book that I had a hard time putting it down. One of the other books you wrote was Pegausus. I live in Florida and have bee to the ringling Brothers museum in Sarasota. It is really something to see and when I read the book I can say that I was there.One day I took all of your books out of my bookcase and decided to put them in order as they are in the front of all your books. When I was done I counted that I have all 115 of them. Looking forward to reading Silent Night. Thank you again for writing such great books.

  60. Marilyn February 16, 2019 3:45 pm

    A few days ago I sent Danielle an email. I just want to let you all know that given her busy, writing lifestyle, she still found the time to reply to it. She is everything that I admire in her personality and of course her personality is mirrored in her books. 🙂

  61. Vicki Carson February 16, 2019 10:41 pm

    I have and love every one of your books. As such a good fan, I’d like to ask you for a few bookmarks, either with information about one of your books or about yourself. I’m getting back to paper/print books and could certainly use some bookmarks. Please send to; Vicki Carson
    1831 Riviera Parkway, Apt. K-6
    Jacksonville, Florida 32205
    Thank you in advance.

  62. Pamela Planter May 20, 2019 8:59 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful insights into how you write. I love that you are extremely passionate and committed to your processes! I am turning 60 this summer and although I have written poetry and various writings, I have never ventured into a Novel. Well, three months ago I started one! Part of my process is to look at writers I admire for their writing style. You are one of those writers! I wholeheartedly agree that it is HARD work. However, it is great fun. When I tell myself I don’t have time, I just make myself find the time.

    Thank you for your inspiration!

  63. Olivia S Belleville August 30, 2019 1:07 pm

    I am enjoying your book “Safe Harbour I’m at the part where Robert just knocked on the door and he tell’s his father about his mother and that was after Ophelie had her little talk with Andrea .How do you think up all these plots ,anyway I’m going back to reading just wanted you to know I am really enjoying this book and thank you

  64. Cathy Wherley August 31, 2019 7:53 am

    My whole life is like one of your novels!!! wanna buy my story?? Want it written with your class and heart!

  65. Angela Arden October 8, 2019 10:16 am

    My mother always loved your books Danielle. Today, you are my inspiration. Thank you.

  66. Scotch February 29, 2020 11:50 am

    MRS steel you are life inspire ,your books Rushing water,going home,accidental heroes etc inspired me in a such way i can’t explain

    Thank ypu for being a writer,u got it all,wish to meet u oneday

  67. Scotch February 29, 2020 11:51 am

    MRS steel you are life inspire ,your books Rushing water,going home,accidental heroes etc inspired me in a such way i can’t explain

    Thank you for being a writer,u got it all,wish to meet u oneday

  68. Mary Bostwick May 5, 2020 8:54 am

    I would like to have Danielle steel consider writing a story about how I met my husband and married him it’s a very unusual story today is my 59th wedding anniversary brief description nice Catholic girl that goes to Catholic school all of her life how I met a friend of a young man I was dating that was married how years later he recognizes me in a office in the Pentagon he is divorced now. We start dating remember I am Catholic do not approve in marrying a divorced person. We got married 6 months later my parents were not happy. 17 years later I was one of the first to receive an dispensation from the Pope of the Catholic Church to be married in the Catholic Church. My daughters are obviously happy I
    Made the decisions I did 59 years ago today. He is deceased now and I am a widow who does not pursue another husband. My daughters congratulated me today as a young Catholic girl making the choices I did.. If I did not make that choice these two wonderful achieving American women, and 2 really achieving grandchildren one an Engineer and one getting PHD at North Texas State. This may be a good story line for a book for Danielle. This is my oldest daughters idea to suggest this story, and being one of the first to get a dispensation from the Catholic Church Pope for a Catholic who married a divorced person to get married in the Catholic Church. My parents and I were so happy this all worked out. Thank You

  69. Lyn Cameron June 29, 2020 6:10 pm

    I picked up Safe Harbour to read and never got further than the poem The Hand of God.
    Did you compose it?
    Is it from experience of helping the people on the streets?
    Now while I await your answer – I will go back to reading your book!

  70. Ariana September 18, 2020 10:30 am

    Ms. Steele, you have always my literary idol. When I was 16 years old I was doing a report for my Highschool English class, about an author that has had impact on my life. I chose you. I actually sent you an email during that time, and you responded to my surprise to this day. I’m currently writing my second novel now, and as always I get stuck around chapter 3. I come to your website, read your blogs, pick up one of your books, next thing I know it’s the next day with a good portion of my work complete. You have and always will be a great inspiration to me. For that I thank you.

    Much love,


  71. Teresa parks October 19, 2020 5:36 am

    Danielle , I have read your novels since I was a teenager and
    Now I am 55 . I have had a very hard life with my only child
    Daughter because of leaving her father . Power and money
    In a small town . She was taken from me as a toddler.And her father had b put her through a traumatic life
    We have had a rocky relationship because of this But recently October 9 th
    After her marriage Of 13 years And they have twins 6 years old
    My son n law took his life in front of her
    It is like a horror movie I can not Belive
    They were the story book couple and family so I thought
    Beautiful out of a magazine. And he was kind steady hard worker
    They had a good life the kids they wanted . I just can not believe
    This has happened
    There is so much to tell and deviation
    I have always wanted to give you my life story because it
    Has also do with your son nick in so many ways
    I would like to work on a book for you to write
    A true story and I think this will help so many people that
    Have gone through abuse And metal problems
    Please help me do this

    I wish there was someway to send you a family picture
    But on Facebook you Can look up my son n law daughter
    And children
    Thank you for taking The time to read this and look.
    Norbert Teodorescu
    Racella Teodorescu
    Mia -6
    Luca – 6

  72. Barbara j. Owens March 25, 2021 5:53 pm

    I am a 90y/o mother of five, grandmother of nine and have been reading your books since my early 30s.. I was in the hospital after losing a baby and my husband brought me The Ring. I was hooked! I have read every one of your books and am now waiting for The Affairfrom the library. My oldest son and his family live in SF and I have gone by your home a few times. My family all know you are my favorite author. I am an avid reader and always wait for your next book. I admire and respect your writing ability and all you do. I look forward to your next books and pray you keep on writing. Thank you for the writing you have done so far.

  73. cheryl kopinski August 30, 2021 7:26 am

    I have always enjoyed reading your books.

    The only problem I have is that your chapters are always too long. Some chapters have as many as forty pages and then others have six or seven pages. It is never consistent.

    If I had to make a negative comment, it would be that all chapters have the same amount of pages maybe 10-15.

    Some books have over three hundred pages and you have only 18 chapters.

  74. […] and Franz Kafka wrote in the early morning hours, and modern writers like Stephanie Meyer and Danielle Steel wrote after their kids were in bed (when their kids were still […]

  75. Dan Ryan November 29, 2021 2:15 am

    Dear Ms Steel
    I was born in ’48. This has been a marvellous read.

  76. William Cress November 29, 2021 2:11 pm

    I have just started Flying Angels and am enjoying. My cousin, a retired firefighter and RN is serving as a flight nurse on international flights.
    Air Heritage, our local air museum has a restored and airworthy C47 The Luck of the Irish which flew 75 missions during WW2. Many were for the wounded and due to the good fortune her pilot kept a diary many details as well.

  77. Adrienne February 19, 2022 5:46 pm

    I have been reading your books all my life and you are 9 years older than I am. I find your life beyond amazing that you could have had 9 kids and have done all that you have. A more prolific writer I don’t think we will ever see. That you can spin so many stories at once and get these ideas! Wow – just wow! You are one of the people I would most like to meet in eternity. I have read all that you said about how you do it but it is still unfathomable to me. I don’t even know how you had time to get those kids. 2 are stepkids I believe, but still. . . . just know I am one of your most ardent fans and have never read a book of yours that I didn’t like! I bring them on all my lengthy flights worldwide. You have one of the most unbelievable gifts I have ever seen! Wishing you health, longevity and Godspeed!

  78. UyandaMdluli September 15, 2022 11:29 am

    Ms Steel you know l read your book for my grade 9 project and guess what l really love your work , books you inspired me l really love you😊😘

  79. Besa Masaiti August 9, 2023 6:38 pm

    God is Good. Dabielle Steel, my greatest inspiration when it came to reading and now writing books. I remember during my highschool days back in a Catholic boarding school in my homecountry- Botswana, your novels were all the rage and if you could get your hands on one it was an exciting moment indeed. God bless you may he use you and all your talents to bring more to to Christ. Daddy was one of the first novels I read written by you!

  80. Mary Margaret Masaba April 10, 2024 1:38 pm

    I just skimmed through your journey to writing. I have been through a lot and I thought someone like you who has been successful in writing would help me to write my emotional stories. Nevertheless, I do appreciate your advice how you have been able to write very many uplifting books in different context.

    My request is to support me to Express myself in writing about myselfy in stages as honestly as I can in stages.

    I can express myself as a speaker/writer a English speaker as a second language