Saturday, April 17, 2010

Writerly advice

Sorry I haven't managed to upload the photos yet. Just lately I've recieved quite a few emails asking me for writing advice. I'm not sure I'm the best person to dispense advice on writing. I can only tell you what has worked and what continues to work for me. You may think differently or find other routes for your writing but for what it's worth here are some of my rules:
1. Writers write. They don't just go to workshops, lunches, conferences, talks and talk, twitter or blog about writing. They actually sit there, day after day and write. Unless you write you are not a writer.
2. Read - notice what you like and look at why you like it. What authors do you admire - why? What don't you like? Learn from it.
3. Edit your work, take out the repitions, the awkward phrases, the nice twiddly bits that you love but which don't advance the plot.
4. Let your work rest and write something else - give yourself some distance from your work and then edit again.
5. Submit and use any feedback you can get to improve your work. Yes, go to workshops etc but only - only - if you are writing. Not as a displacement activity.
6. Set yourself goals and deadlines, the practice at keeping them will be good for when you are published.
7. Keep writing. There will always be someone who gets better sales, wins more trophys, lands a bigger contract, gets a better review. It doesn't matter - that's their journey. Your journey is yours alone and the only thing you have any control over is your writing. The rest is luck, hardwork, and perserverence.

There are no magic capsules to give you more time to write, no special in's to land your book a publishing contract (Unless you happen to be Katie Price).
Writers write so get off the net and go finish your book.

2 comments:

liz fenwick said...

Sound and concise advice - write and keep writing :-) and reading of course.

lx

Michelle Styles said...

Yes, I have started writing in 750 word chunks. When I am doing that, I am not allowed on the internet.