Saturday, 8 February 2020

How To Be A Writer

After a fantastic evening with Weston Writer's Nights on Thursday (6th February), where Jenny Kane, Jan Ellis, Fay Keenan and myself were on a panel answering questions about How To Be A Writer, I thought I would create a blog post.

(Photo taken by Weston Writer's Nights)

I'm concerned that although we've shared the reality of being a writer, which might mean holding down another job too, I didn't want to discourage the fact that if you want to write, you must write. But do not be disillusioned that you may make money from it. You might make some, but not necessarily enough to give up the day job.

Anyway, the evening was fantastic and so much fun, so I hope the audience did enjoy the event as much as we did.

And on that note, I thought I would give a quick summary on How To Be A Writer:

  1. Write! (You can't edit a blank page - so write!)
  2. No ideas are stupid ideas. If you want to write them, then write them! Inspiration can come from anything.
  3. Make time to write, too. Do you work best in the mornings, afternoons or evenings? Write when it's best for you. And without interruptions if possible. 
  4. Find a writing space that suits you and use it. Everybody is different: Some need complete silence (me!) and some can work in a coffee shop (Jenny!)
  5. Find a critique partner or small group of writing friends. It's great to bounce ideas off one another. Writing can be a lonely place, so it's good to get out and be social with likeminded people - those who appreciate and understand you have voices in your head that sometimes won't shut up. 
  6. You must have a thick skin. Sometimes you might have to kill your darlings (as they say). But never delete a book. Put it in a drawer for a while. A change of market might mean it becomes suitable for publishing.   
  7. Do your research. Check who publishes your genre. Don't send your book out to just any publisher as you'll get a bad name for yourself. It's not professional. The same applies for agents, too. Writers and Artists Yearbook is the best place to look, or in a book shop. (Check the books you enjoy reading in the genre you write).
  8. Don't give up the day job, even if you get a contract.
  9. Imprint Publishers don't need you to submit via an agent.
  10. Most importantly make sure you're having fun! 

And if you want the Mars Bar Scones recipe Jenny talked about, you can find it here

If you still have any burning questions about writing then please don't hesitate to contact us via any of our social media platforms. We'd be more than happy to help. 

Remember: if you write, then you are a writer. 

To find out more about Weston Writer's Nights click here!

Thank you to everyone who attended the event. You were a wonderful audience.

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