Some advice for writers

Start by imagining a trance soundtrack. Something like the backdrop to that speech about wearing sunscreen. You can play the original in the background, if you want to. Then I can explain.


Don’t listen to other writers. Or listen to them fine and then ignore it all later. Or listen to them and take them very seriously and write down every word. Don’t listen to people who tell you there are ‘rules’ and don’t listen to people who tell you not to worry about any of that shit. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to turn writing into some kind of mystical activity. Who makes out it’s like divining or some shit and not putting words on paper or building an imaginary world out of sentences. Don’t listen to people who try to lace everything they say with deep meaning. Don’t listen…


Don’t worry that you’re spending too much time on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t worry that you’re reading too many blogs. Reading online is still reading. Writing online is still writing and might help keep you in the zone or, at the very least, sane. Don’t worry about not being on Twitter. Don’t worry about not having a Facebook page. Don’t worry about not having a website. Don’t worry about not blogging enough. Don’t worry about what you might be missing out on. Don’t worry that you’re not good enough. Don’t worry that other people are doing better than you. Don’t worry about one star reviews. Don’t worry…


Don’t think about your image. Don’t think about your ‘author brand’. Don’t think about your reviews on amazon. Don’t think about your sales rank and keep checking it every three minutes to see if it’s changed. Don’t think that everything is personal. Don’t think that luck doesn’t contribute to success. Don’t think it’s *all* about luck. Don’t think about the prizes you’ve not won, or the end of year lists that you don’t appear on. Don’t think that traditional publishing is the easy route. Don’t think that going independent is any easier. Don’t think about what other people think. Don’t think…


Don’t assume that anyone’s got all the answers. Don’t assume that an agent is the answer to your prayers. Don’t assume that a book deal will make you rich. Don’t assume that Amazon want to help you get rich, either. Don’t assume you need to cultivate an air of mystery. Don’t assume any one genre is better than any other. Don’t assume…


Don’t waste your time on social media. Don’t waste your time wondering if you spend too much time on social media. Don’t waste your time wondering if you spend enough time on social media. Don’t waste your time worrying about what other people are doing. Don’t waste your time tweeting links to your book every five minutes. Don’t waste your time moaning about people who tweet links to their books every five minutes. Don’t waste your time…


Don’t try to be Ernest Hemingway. Don’t try to be Ann Tyler. Don’t try to be Margaret Atwood. Don’t try to be Philip K Dick and *definitely* don’t try to be HP Lovecraft. Don’t try to be anyone but the writer you are. Don’t try harder. Don’t try…


(Oh, yeah, and read a lot too.)

2 Comments on “Some advice for writers”

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