30 December 2018

New Year

Happy New Year!

Here are a few tips that might help make 2019 a good writing year.

1. Write

Seems obvious, doesn't it? However, by waiting for the right time and perfect conditions I wasted many years of opportunity. Write a little bit every day. This is hard, I know, but it can be done.

2. Don't Edit

Write the piece in its entirety without going back over it and making changes. Finish it. This is even harder than number 1.

3. Write something else

This is the advice I give to anyone who sends me their work. A finished piece is best put away for a while before trying to assess it.

4. Don't Self-Publish the first thing you write

I know that intense feeling of temptation to upload my novel as soon as I've finished it. After all, if people can't buy it how do I become the next J K Rowling?
I was fortunate to avoid this catastrophic error and my writing career was saved. Anyone trying to read the first novels I wrote would have avoided me like the plague for the rest of time. And been quite right in doing so.

5. Just because it's been written doesn't mean anyone should read it

Believe it or not, this is a liberating thing. I avoid 'writing for publication' and write for myself. Always. Or at least I try not to second guess what the public might like because I have absolutely no idea. I do, however, know what I like. Write the book you want to read.

6. If you do publish, do it properly

There will come a time, I hope, when you've produced something you think might be of interest to a wider public. When that time comes, it is important to present it in readable form. In other words, it will need a professional edit. This will cost money. A lot of money in writing terms. Almost certainly more money than you will ever recoup in sales.

7. Writing is not a competitive sport

Any success I've had has been dependant on help from other writers. The writing community is a wonderful resource. Join it in whichever guise suits you. Your local writers' group is a wonderful place to begin.

photo credit: Sworldguy Fireworks Explosion via photopin (license)

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