In the spring of 1934, an aspiring writer named Arnold Samuelson hitchhiked from Minnesota to Florida to see if he could land a meeting with his favorite author. Feeling discouraged over his writing, Samuelson believed he needed a mentor to help him improve his craft.
The writer he had picked to be his mentor? Ernest Hemingway.
Samuelson showed up at Hemingway’s front door and begged the famous author for just a few minutes of conversation. Much to Samuelson’s delight, Hemingway agreed to talk with him and read some of his work. Although Hemingway wasn’t particularly impressed by Samuelson’s writing, he was impressed by the 22-year-old’s seriousness and dedication.
Unfortunately, Hemingway had planned to leave Florida soon on his boat Pilar. But luckily for Samuelson, Hemingway invited him to join the crew. While at sea, Samuelson had the rare opportunity to pick Hemingway’s brains about writing.
In a 1935 article for Esquire magazine, Hemingway shared some of the advice he had given Samuelson. Read on for five of Hemingway’s tips that we can use to improve our own writing.