I am frequently being asked what advice I would give to any aspiring writers and in particular, anyone who hasn’t studied in this field. I thought I would put it online for any of you people who are desperate enough to need my advice, you poor poor things.
I have decided to type it into a list form starting …NOW.
1. Don’t compare your writing to others.
My work may not come from the same brand of sophistication as other writers but nor would I want it to. Comparison is not only the thief of joy; it is also the death of good writing. In fact, comparison can be the death of most art forms. Stay well clear.
2. Focus on your strengths not your weaknesses.
So what you don’t have a degree in it, who cares? Someone somewhere will absolutely adore what you do (and be willing to pay for it) Go out and find them. Most people who do these courses are shocked to find out that they have probably paid more to study than the average novelist gets as their first advance anyway.
3. You actually have to write (Shocker!)
I was recently asked what I found the most difficult about the writing process and my answer was “actually picking up the pen to write in the first place.” It isn’t because I am not passionate; it is simply because if you ask me where my attention span fell on a scale of one to ten, my answer would probably be “bubbles”. Everyone needs a push every now and again so just tell yourself to get on with it. You won’t regret it. You could start your writing process today if you really wanted. Ask yourself why you haven’t. Is the reason really viable? No? Well, get writing!
4. Try not to read any lists of tips that are in books or on the internet. (Besides this one obviously)
Yes I’m talking to you, the avid Googler. Believe it or not, Google does not have all of the answers. The reason being is that everyone does this.
Individuals who read those tips all have the same influence so what makes them different from each other? Nothing. Nought. Zilch. Diddly squat. Just write how you write because that is what makes you different. If you do feel like you need a bit of a nudge in the right direction then get down to your local book shop and purchase “642 Things To Write About” by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. It’s full to the brim with witty, innovative and thought provoking writing prompts to give you a fresh dose of inspiration. Most importantly, it is much more practical and gives you the room to let your individuality flourish.
5. Don’t force your ideas.
Your ideas will come to you. It really is that simple.
6. Don’t give up.
This is by far the most important one. If you need a little confidence, then underneath I have shared a picture that is really important to me as it never fails to give me hope when I am lacking in inspiration. I hope it does the same for you.