My Top Ten Writing Tips

  1. Read what you want to read (but also try stuff you wouldn’t normally try)
  2. Write what you want to write (but also try stuff you wouldn’t normally try)
  3. Write crap first drafts and don’t care that they are crap (they will be crap)
  4. Edit your crap first drafts
  5. Decide why you are writing and never lose sight of that – if it’s because you love it, then rejection won’t matter. If it’s for praise and success, stop now, you’re in the wrong business.
  6. Know that every bad piece of writing you produce is a step on the road to your first good one. The good one is further off than you think but you can’t skip any of these steps. Be proud and grateful for every step you manage. The more you write, the quicker you’ll get there.
  7. Analyse every book you read, every movie you watch, every party you go to and every conversation you have with your friends. Dissect them and look at their skeletons.
  8. Read what writers have to say about writing
  9. Keep a diary. It is the most important and unique story you will ever write.
  10. Write to your favourite writers – you mean more to them than you know (believe me, they’re not in it for the money: they write for themselves, they publish for you)