Shut Up and Get On With It


When sometimes you struggle with getting the right words in the right order, and getting the story arc beautifully drafted so it resemble something akin to a cracking story, it's useful to read tips from other writers. Here are a few of my favourites.

"Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you," Zadie Smith.

"If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write," Somerset Maughn.

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage ~ as long as you edit brilliantly," C.J. Cherryh.

"The nearest I have to a rule is a post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying,

'Faire et se tire,' (Flaubert), which I translate as 'Shut up and get on with it,'

Helen Simpson.

"Find your writing community," Rose McGinty.*

"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never know quite where they'll take you," Beatrix Potter.

"Don't be fooled by thinking something is better than it is. Learn to tell yourself when it isn't," Helen Irene Young.*

Me? Trust your instincts to let you know when something is working well, and more importantly, when it isn't. Don't share too widely during the writing process, nor swayed by false criticism. Take a note book everywhere to jot down thoughts, anecdotes and so on (it's a cliche, but you will forget that precious idea). Read widely, both as a reader and with your writers head on.

* To discover more on writing by Rose McGinty and Helen Irene Young, click on interviews and scroll down.


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