Ten tips from this writer’s life
I was speaking to a lady about The Zanzibar Moon and she thought it was the only thing I’d written. I explained that I’d been published, in collaborative books, magazines, newspapers, journals and websites. See my Clips. I have had a long freelance career as a writer and am always writing something.
She said, “I respect anyone who can write a whole book, but what compels you want to do it?”
To me the answer is easy. “My love of writing makes me write. It’s a compulsion I’ve had since primary school. I am happiest when working at my craft.”
“But how do you organise it and go about it? To someone who doesn’t write it seems like a daunting thing to take on.”
Here are my ten tips from my writing life for those who are considering embarking on a writing life.
Ten tips to become a writer
- Write something every day (even if it’s just a list of the articles, short stories or novels you want to write)
- Set aside writing time (mine is before work, at lunchtime, after work and weekends) Yes, I have a full-time job and did publish a book. You can too.
- Plan your time. If you need to complete a 20,000 word writing project in three months. That’s 6,666 words per month or 1,666 per week, or 238 words per day seven days a week.
- Tell family and friends when you are writing, so there will be no distractions. (I’m one of the lucky few who can work with distractions, but most writers like peace and quiet).
- Read writing references. I’m continually learning about being a better writer. You do not know it all. There is always something to learn, be it about structure, editing, plotting, character development, dialogue, research or publishing.
- Love your characters. If your enamoured by your characters you’ll keep wanting to visit them. I loved mine so much in The Zanzibar Moon that I’ve brought them back in a prequel and plan two sequels.
- Create a writer website. Make it real. Let everyone know you are a writer. Yes, you are. Don’t doubt it.
- Set aside a writing zone. Writers dream of the perfect study with a fancy desk, shelves full of books, the latest computer, inspirational paintings, writing awards and a reading nook. We can’t all have that. You may have to write at the dining table, coffee table, bedroom corner, local café, your library or somewhere else. Anywhere, as long as you know it’s your writing zone and you’re about to get to work at writing.
- Keep a notebook with you always. You never know where you’ll find your inspiration. I get mine late at night, walking along the beach, hanging the washing, running the dog and washing the dishes. I’m always thinking up stories, characters and ideas in my head. “What if?”
- Never lose your imagination. “Imagine if?”
Good luck and get writing. If you need any advice please comment below. I’m always happy to support other writers.