Ten top tips for writing

A writer rag-tagging at Gandalf's coat-tails...
A writer rag-tagging at Gandalf’s coat-tails…

A lot of writers have ‘rules’ they work by – so I thought I’d share my top ten.

  • Write every day. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
  • Planning is important. There’s a debate over ‘seat-of-the-pants’ streams of consciousness versus planning. But trust me, in today’s market, it’s planning. And re-planning.
  • If you can, put what you write in the proverbial drawer for a month after you think it’s finished. Then go back and finish it.
  • All writers think their own work sucks. Live with it.
  • Always keep trying. No matter how glum things seem to be, keep at it. If one strategy doesn’t work, switch to another.
  • Never begrudge another author’s success. Champion them.
  • Writing isn’t over when the first draft’s done. That’s only the beginning.
  • Revision is really part of the writing process.
  • Never be afraid to throw writing away and re-cast from scratch.
  • Always finish what you begin (this is where the throwing away comes in – you start afresh and then finish).

But you know what the underlying pivot us? Have fun. If you’re enthused, inspired and sparking on your subject, that’ll infuse itself into your writing. And readers will want to read it.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015


9 thoughts on “Ten top tips for writing

    1. It’s amazing how often ‘cringe’ emerges in old stuff. This year, seven of my old books have been republished and in the process of going through them for the new editions I found myself wondering not only how I had written various bits and pieces, but how they’d even got through the publishing process in the 1990s!

  1. Agreed on many points! Always leave it for a month. The other one which struck me – everyone thinks their work sucks. Yep! The horror I’ve felt staring at my writing at times. My best tip is “write something you’d want to read”, as this will capture your audience. If this topic happens to be about cheese and aliens, well then that is quite marvellous.

  2. An excellent list and one which I agree with in total. Thank you. Setting aside writing for a month works. I’ve tried it. It makes me feel like a CSI looking for blood splatter. Suddenly it shows up! The one it has taken me the longest to learn I learned not long ago: “Never be afraid to throw writing away and re-cast from scratch.” My heart went pitter-patter when I saw that on your list. I discovered that after a certain amount of time my work went stale and all I was doing was fixing Inferior Writer Christina’s work.

  3. I am a seat of the pants writer but then writing is not my job and I predominantly write only for me.

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