As you might have guessed from the title of this blog, finding time to write anything other than To Do lists and professional reports can be a bit of a personal challenge for me. So, for a fun Friday activity, I thought I would compile a few of my favourite writing tips from well-known and respected writers. Those who have ‘cracked’ the dilemma of ‘but I don’t have the time…’. Here’s to hoping it will give me wings for the weekend, although most of them sound quite stern.
Work according to the program, not according to the mood! (Henry Miller)
Nobody’s making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine! (Margaret Atwood)
Write. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down. (Neil Gaiman)
Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom. (Jeanette Winterson)
Don’t keep waiting for the right moment or you’ll wait forever, but accept that there are some stages in life when it’s next to impossible to pull off a book. (Kate White)
The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good…. The first twelve years are the worst. (Anne Enright)
It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction. (Jonathan Franzen)
Here are three somewhat kinder ones:
Defend yourself. Find out what keeps you happy, motivated and creative. (AL Kennedy)
Decide when in the day (or night) it best suits you to write, and organise your life accordingly. (Andrew Motion)
Do, occasionally, give in to temptation. Wash the kitchen floor, hang out the washing. It’s research. (Roddy Doyle)
Oh, that’s all right then… No, hang on a minute!