What I’ve discovered… about writing


I didn’t begin writing decent material until draft 3. The previous outlines and fifty per cent rubbish, but I thought each one was my finished novel. Persistence made me better. Gradually. There are no shortcuts.

Creativity, in any form, is difficult and needs tremendous focus and application.

I appreciate the parallels between writing and management. Both skills require long periods alone in an office or at a desk, followed by spells of frenzied activity. Talks get delivered, results presented, and brand or book launches are necessary to bring the product into the public domain

When I hit stumbling blocks, I can either sit with a bottle of whiskey and feel sorry for myself, or try again. Try harder. Get it down. Take a chance. It may be weak, but I’ll edit and improve the sentence, paragraph and chapter. That’s the only path to end up with something good.

Publishing is a lottery, a system run on hope. Millions of people buy lottery tickets, dreaming of a win. In the same way, every writer expects the agent to pluck their document from the slush pile, but similar to that lottery ticket, very few are. However, perhaps the next publisher will see potential or maybe tomorrow’s six numbers…

Rejection makes it hard to concentrate on the positives. Thousands of hours spent creating and polishing, snubbed in seconds – and in most cases, not even acknowledged. Still, writing is subjective, and I’ve learned not to take it personally.

If I WANTED to be a writer, I’d have given up ages ago, but I NEED to write. That level of difference pushes me on.