Writing for love or money?

By Tom: Following on from previous deliberations about how to choose a project, another common dilemma that writers face is whether to write for love or write for money. Framing the question in that way is a misrepresentation, of course, as the most desirable outcome is to do both. However, most writers feel this conflict. […]

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Choosing what to commit to

By Tom: Some of my earlier posts have focussed on how to use your time wisely, and how to cope with rejection by directing your effort on improving your craft. For those of us who want to make a living out of writing, there is inevitably going to be some mismatch between the art we […]

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Eight low-cost ways to improve your editing skills

By Teika: As I wrote in an earlier post, hiring a professional to edit your book can really improve your manuscript and make it shine. However, money can often be an issue, and although there are various schemes to help out writers, they’re not right for everyone. Also, what about the writer who likes DIY? […]

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How to handle rejection

By Tom Rejection is an inevitable part of writing – an inevitable part of life, actually – so developing strategies for coping with repeated rejections without letting them drag you down psychologically is an important step for professional and personal development. I have some experience with this. Academic publishing is a very effective crucible for […]

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How to persuade yourself to write every day

By Tom: Many writers – Stephen King springs to mind – talk about their craft as a kind of compulsion. Writing is something they need to do, that they burn to do, and that helps them feel sane and grounded in a sometimes difficult world. But even those souls who are blessed/cursed by this drive […]

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You’ve finished your first draft. Now what?

By Teika: What the first draft of your manuscript looks like will very much depend on the kind of writer you are and the progress you’ve made in your writing career. The more experienced a writer you are, the chances are that each new first draft will require far less editing and be much closer […]

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The unbearable expectations of the first line

By Tom: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again. Last night, I tried for the hundredth time to craft the perfect first sentence. Do you know what I ended up with? I ended up with: “Master Bascombe?” That took me an hour to settle on. I’m not sure it will be making any […]

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The value of fantasy

By Tom: I take the first coffee of the day up to my attic room, and settle into the chair that perfectly fits my body. For a moment, I gaze through the picture window at the woods in the distance, beyond the meadows and green hills. I open the laptop, set down my coffee, and […]

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Coping with self-doubt during saggy middles

By Tom: Urgh. I can’t write for shit. And I’m bored of this character. Maybe I should just abandon this lost cause and start on the new idea that’s been keeping me up for the last few nights. That book could really be something; if only I were talented enough to write it. Self-doubt is […]

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How to find the time to write when you don’t have any time

By Tom: One of the realities of the writing life is that not many people can succeed in living entirely off the proceeds of their words. The majority of writers – even some very successful ones – make a significant amount of their income from other activities such as teaching, or public speaking, or criticism, or various […]

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