…because your writing is worth giving your best.
- Say to yourself… I am a writer! Then tell everyone else.
- Read before you write… before you read before you write before you read… you get the picture.
- Sit and write! If you’re not there you can’t write!
- Find your own space. That doesn’t mean that this is the only place that you can write but it’s your base.
- Keep a notebook in your pocket/bag/beside your bed. Scribble the rubbish down. You can wave a magic wand over it later.
- Go out and listen, look, feel, taste and smell your location. The senses are what great writing is made of.
- LIVE your character. Talk to them. (Yes, your family will think you’re mad. It’s important that they realise this fact early in your career!) Talk about them. Write their profiles. Read about them.
- Write what you like to read, not only what you know. Research is fun!
- Tell everyone to go away and let you write. An hour today, ten minutes tomorrow, half an hour the next day…
- Join up with other writers. Learn from giving and receiving feedback. My writing groups are my lifeline.
- Practise. Exercise that writing muscle and keep it toned.
- There is no such thing as word block. If you can’t think of words for what you’re looking for right now, move away from what you’re writing. FREE WRITE for 10 or 20 minutes. Anything. Now go back to your project and watch those words flow.
- Read everything out loud. You will hear what needs to be rewritten. (Your family are convinced of your madness by now anyway.)
- Use social media to promote yourself as a writer and to share with and take advice from like-minded people. Remember that you are building your reputation as a writer. But beware! This is NOT writing time.
- Strip the adverbs and adjectives from your writing and leave it bare. Then put them back in sparingly.
- Turn off the television!
- Be yourself. Write your own story. Only compare yourself to the writer you were yesterday.
- Leave your writing to sit for a while. Then take it out to redraft.
- Attend writing events and readings with other authors/poets. Listening to them will inspire you to believe that you can do this thing too!
- Always have a fresh project on the go while you’re editing something else. Keep the creativity flowing.
- If it doesn’t matter to the story… delete it!
- Unnecessary words: Really, Just, Very, Stuff, Suddenly, Then, Maybe, Perhaps, Quite, Amazing, Literally, Things, Got. These are my ‘nothing’ words.
- Don’t procrastinate and pull your hair out over that all important title that will grab your readers by the hair and drag them in. As you write, your words will find their own name.
- Be persistent. If you quit early you will never know what you might have achieved.
- SMILE! If you’re reading this then you find that being a writer is a great escape from life! Not all golfers are Rory Mc Ilroy but that doesn’t stop them loving a game of golf! Happy Writing!
Carolann Copland. Carousel Writers’ Centre.