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April 17th, 2020

First, and most importantly, I hope you and yours are all safe and well. We are living in odd times, but I must admit that I haven’t been bored yet. I’m lucky – I have a job that I can do remotely and a decent sized garden that I can dig in to work off my excess energy! But I am missing the grandkids – Zoom is great, but there’s no substitute for being able to give them a cuddle!

Moving on, thanks to Laura for last week’s post. We do courses in both Creative Writing and Copywriting. The two are very different, so it was interesting to hear what Laura had to say about the similarities between the two types of writing  in practice.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to think about writing and I’d like to share some tips with you. Most of them are pretty obvious, but they may just give you a little inspiration or help you to re-evaluate your attitude towards your writing.

  1. Write about what you know – or what you can find out about.
  2. Enjoy your writing – don’t look on it as a chore.
  3. Read, read, read! You need to see how the classics are written, but you also need to know what genres are trending now. So read as widely as possible.
  4. Don’t show others your work too early in the creative process. Adverse criticism might knock your confidence.
  5. Use all five senses – try to incorporate sight, sound, smell, touch and taste into your writing.
  6. Always keep a notebook/recording device handy so that you don’t forget ideas.
  7. A picture is worth 1000 words. Keep your camera/phone handy at all times.
  8. Always be inquisitive about what is going on around you – look for ideas in everything you do and everyone you talk to.
  9. Try to write regularly – get into a routine.
  10. Write at a time when you’re feeling fresh and alert – it’s the only way to produce your best work.
  11. Find your own space where you are comfortable and can concentrate on your writing, undisturbed.
  12. Plan your work – produce a logical outline before you start to write, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.
  13. Make sure your research is thorough and accurate; so check your sources and ask experts. Fake news and dodgy websites have never been more prevalent.
  14. You might have a good idea for an article or story, but never start writing until you have a market in mind.
  15. Every article or story needs a beginning, a middle and an end or it will seem rambling and unstructured.
  16. When you create characters they don’t have to be based on reality but you must make your readers believe in them.
  17. Dialogue isn’t just for novels and short stories – it can add life to your articles too!
  18. Don’t keep going back and revising what you’ve written at the end of each paragraph or chapter. It’ll slow you down and might demoralise you – so wait till you’ve finished before you start the editing process.
  19. If you’re feeling blocked and finding it hard to continue from where you left off, write anything (however unpolished) until your ideas start to flow again.
  20. Be kind to yourself! Banish negative thoughts and believe in your ability to write.
  21. Don’t let rejection hurt you. It’s your work that’s being rejected, not you personally, and there could be any number of reasons for this.
  22. Always carefully tailor your writing to the publication you are targeting in style, length and subject matter.
  23. Before sending work out check it repeatedly until you are sure that there are no mistakes and it’s the very best you can do.
  24. Find someone you can trust, and who is able to offer constructive criticism, to give you feedback on your work when it is complete.
  25. Put yourself in a position where you are in contact with experienced writers, whether it’s through a writing course, workshops or seminars. And don’t forget the importance of networking with other writers. (Obviously, you’ll have to limit yourself to virtual networking till the current crisis is over!)

My guest next week is Alex Smith who’ll be telling about her experience of being invited into her local school on World Book Day to run workshops based on her published work.

In the meantime, stay safe and keep writing!

Author: Diana Nadin

 

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