DO and DON’T
Hi everyone. I asked a group of authors the following.
Fancy a bit of fun - slightly serious?
Let's put together a list of do's and don'ts for budding authors, and even published authors, with a tad of humour thrown in for good measure. Naturally they couldn’t resist a challenge, so here are the responses.
DO ignore criticism but DON’T ignore critique. The former is destructive, the latter constructive.
DO take regular breaks from your computer screen to protect your eyes. I was the worst culprit ever, but now I use a timer. After 90 minutes I take a 20 minute break.
DON’T twiddle your pen around near your mug of steaming brew. Wiping coffee off your computer keyboard is a nightmare.
Do find a modus operandi that works for you. All authors work differently, so experiment, and be comfortable.
DO Work hard at perfection, but know that it is unattainable.
DO Support other authors. You are not in competition with them, and you are stronger together.
DO acknowledge your weaknesses.
Do munch and drink as you go. A combination of Chocolate and freshly ground coffee helps the creative juices flow.
DON'T be afraid to be your weird self and write off the wall stuff, so when the police question you as to why you were digging a grave at 3am, do remember to tell them that the vile Angus Harbottle, traffic warden and viscous bully, hasn't been strangled, as he isn't actually real.
Do find a time and space of your own to write. Go there at a set time each day.
Don't wait for inspiration, just write, fill the page or screen with anything.
Don't trust your friends and families' praise, go to a writing class, or join an online group.
DO believe in yourself, always. Even when everyone rejects your stories, when you think you're writing derivative drivel... Always believe.
DO write what is you, even if you are slightly strange. In fact, especially if you are slightly strange.
DON’T try to be someone else/suit someone else's agenda.
DON'T give up - no-one can tell your story the way you can.
DO write something every day - even if it's just 10 words and even if it's rubbish.
DON'T expect to get rich although always be ready for Hollywood to come knocking (posh frock on standby).
DON’T forget your creative brain cells need food to work properly- chocolate is good.
DO use fellow writers for honest feedback, even if they write in different genres. They are more likely to pick up on plot holes, mid-way name changes, continuity etc.
DON'T take criticism personally. It can be hard to believe not everyone loves your baby as you do, but if it's honest feedback it can only help improve your writing.
DON’T ever give up. It can take years to become an overnight success. When your manuscript is perfect, look at it again in different formats, see it printed out on paper, Kindle, phone, laptop etc. You'll be surprised how a different layout can show things you've missed.
DON’T stop writing for a minute as you'll lose the flow in your brain.
DO remember that anything goes in your imaginary world however weird or strange it may be, in fact the weirder the better.
I thank all the authors for their excellent input and I’d like you to remember that the most important part of writing is …
DO have FUN.
I hope this helps even a little, so please take time to leave a short comment and do SHARE.