1 They write as if their work is being marked.
It’s hard to lose that inner student, the kid who’s shit scared of getting it wrong.
But you’re not that kid anymore. You can write whatever the hell you want. In any shape or form.
People don’t know what to do with this freedom. It makes them nervous.
So they play it safe. They keep trying to please an invisible assessor. And their writing comes out starched.
This is why I have an entire section in Scribbles about the importance of making a mess. Of learning to let go.
Take risks. Play with language. Add some kooky.
Give your teachers the finger.
2 They assume there’s a shortcut
And they spend a truckload of time searching for it.
THERE IS NO SHORTCUT. Get the tattoo if it’ll help.
‘The long way is the shortcut.’
You’ve got to do the VERK. Stop trying to skirt around it.
3 They define success as being published.
Success is finishing. That’s the biggest prize.
Success is finishing the fecking book so you’re free to write another one and become a better writer.
4 They give up too soon
When things get tricky they crumble.
They either declare it’s too hard, in which case there’s little hope.
Or they convince themselves they ‘can’t write’.
Just because they’ve hit a rough patch!
Harden up, dolly daydream. Problems are part of the deal. It’s your job to sort them.
5 They expect their first book to be published
6 They expect their second book to published.
7 They don’t put in the thinking time
You’ve gotta do hours and OW-ERS of thinking in order to write a book.
Tapping the keyboard’s only part of the game.
You have to put in the thought. You have to invest the mental energy.
I know, I know. It hurts!
Writers do it anyway.
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