What advice did Mr. Henshaw give Leigh about becoming an author? Why would keeping a diary be one way of following this advice?

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As any writer will tell you, you need to exercise your writing muscle every day if you're going to be successful. As Leigh has told Mr. Henshaw that he wants to be a writer when he grows up, Henshaw gives him the sage advice that the best way to exercise...

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As any writer will tell you, you need to exercise your writing muscle every day if you're going to be successful. As Leigh has told Mr. Henshaw that he wants to be a writer when he grows up, Henshaw gives him the sage advice that the best way to exercise his writing muscle is by keeping a regular diary. This will get him into the habit of writing every single day, which is crucial to a writer's development.

At first, Leigh finds this pretty hard going. His writing skills are basic, to say the least, and there's much room for improvement in terms of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. But Leigh's nothing if not persistent, and sure enough, just as Mr. Henshaw advised, he finds that the more he writes, the better he becomes at it.

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Mr. Henshaw advises Leigh that if he wants to become an author he needs to write. And although I can't figure out how to do it here, Mr. Henshaw underlines the word "write" twice.

Leigh decides a good way to get practice writing is to keep a journal. He has some trouble getting started, so Mr. Henshaw advises him to pretend he is writing a letter to someone. Leigh says, "I suppose I could pretend to write to Dad, but I used to write to him and he never answered." Leigh is very lonely since his parents divorce, even more so when his mother has to work longer hours at the catering company, so Leigh decides to pretend he is writing his diary to Mr. Henshaw.

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