Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Publish and Be Published. How? Writing it.

This isn’t a zine on how to write. Still, here’s some things that help me.
Attitude. Robert Wyatt once said, The job of any artist is to find his or her own voice. You can’t do what you do better or worse than what anyone else does. I agree. If you aim to write as much like yourself as possible, you’ll be better at it than anyone else, because no-one else is trying to do exactly that.
Routine. I procrastinate like mad. I delay writing so it hangs over me like unfinished homework. My answer is to have a set routine with times set aside for writing. Even if nothing readable comes out of those slices of time, at least I’ve put in the hours. Knowing that I’ll be sat at a desk doing nothing else for a set period wears down my resistance. Soon I decide I might as well just get on and write.
If you’re time-poor, consider reducing your working week and finding ways to live cheaper. More on that in my next zine. Try ditching your telly. Average Brits spend nine years of their life watching TV. Or get up earlier. I know someone who writes for an hour each day before work.
Writers’ groups. If you can find a group you like, these are great for feedback and support. Novels don’t always fit too well with some groups which have really fluid memberships, as a novel needs sustained attention. I didn’t workshop BCL much. It’d be a far better novel if I had.
Feedback is mostly well meant. Remember, people’s opinions are there to steer through, not steer by. Groups often run on a voluntary basis, so a commitment may be expected regarding input and attendance. Check these sites to find a writers’ group; http://www.writers-circles.com/ , http://www.nawg.co.uk/, and http://www.author.co.uk/ . Adult education writing classes rely on bums on seats so tutor feedback can be too kind to be useful. Where possible, sit in on a class before committing.
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