Writing Your Book Already?

Want your book to be as good as it can possibly be? These articles are all about writing skills, editing like a pro, and how to write with a little more outrageous flair.

a look of horror

The 67,000 mile-an-hour Book

We all have the same amount of time in the days, weeks, months, years.

So why do some people get tons of writing done, and others struggle to make any progress at all?

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How To Write In Pictures

Flamingo your writing by making me feel, see, smell, taste, and touch…Silence.Sudden silence.The kind of velvet silence that soaks up every whisper.The only sound in your head is the bass-beat of your panicked heart… and all eyes are on you.What’s the worst thing that can happen during your competition pole dance performance? Wardrobe malfunction? Nope.

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Like Wholesome Cocaine for Your Soul

None of us has any control over a global pandemic or other people’s behaviour or thoughts or actions. I don’t think we’ve ever lived through a time of such uncertainty. And yet I was trying to control it anyway. Perhaps you were, too. That’s what humans do; we try to control stuff.

Which is, quite simply, exhausting.

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Roast potatoes for brains

Post-festive-sludging and I feel like my head is stuffed with roast potatoes.

I am struggling to form a coherent thought, let alone write about one.

This is extraordinarily vexing to someone who writes for a living.

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Why your projects are always late…

Whether your project is a giant railway infrastructure, a cottage renovation, or writing your book, it will inevitably take way too long and cost much more than you budget. It’s because you suffer from the planning fallacy — with a healthy dose of optimism bias and overconfidence thrown in.

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? Haunted by horrific howlers

Writing a book isn’t just about the writing; it’s about the details, too. The fine points that mark you out as a professional. Stuff your readers may not notice on a conscious level, but if you get it wrong, they’ll feel it. They’ll know.

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Scratching out eyes

On Finding Mudita

Of all the negative emotions, after shame, I think envy takes the biscuit: it seeps into everything we look at and it keeps us stuck.

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Sometimes your words will be crap

For the past three days, I have sat at my laptop first thing in the morning and cried tears of frustration.

Every word I’ve written has been dragged out of my brain with forceps and no pain relief – and arranging those words on the page has been torture.

Almost everything I’ve written has been total crap by my usual standards.

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How Talking To Your Clients Helps You Beat The Blank Page

Ever had insomnia? Not just a little trouble sleeping, but the twitchy, panicky, staring into the void teetering-on-the-edge of madness insomnia?

Every now and then, it feels like you’re poised on the knife-edge of sleep—so you grab at it, wildly, desperately, only to feel sleep slip away, leaving you grinding your teeth.

To me, that’s what the Blank Page Of Doom feels like sometimes. When I have the seed of an idea I can’t quite hold onto—or too many ideas, boiling across my brain too swift to catch.

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Don’t rely on your friends

It’s up to us to persuade the right people that our books are worth investing in.

Nobody else is going to do it for us – and that’s a really cool position to be in because it means we’re in charge of our own destiny. We get to make our own successes (and failures) without relying on (or blaming) others.

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You are not your business

You are not your business. You are not your art.

Take the criticism. Allow the reaction. Then examine it carefully.

Is there a lesson you can learn and use to improve? Take it.

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? ? ? Tell me about yourself

“Tell me about yourself”

Four little words guaranteed to strike terror into most people’s hearts, especially if we’re standing in front of a roomful of people.

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Peel your eyes

Writing is a source of great anxiety to a lot of people – including me, sometimes. Just because I’m a writer doesn’t mean I have all my shit together.

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Take it like a writer

Criticism and feedback can feel like eating kiwi fruit with the skin on: uncomfortable, even painful, leading to shortness of breath.

But only for a few minutes. Maximum 7 minutes. Then I have to pull myself together and crack on.

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Koala asleep on a branch

Are We Sleepwalking Through Life?

Just because I got elbowed in the face once in Primark doesn’t mean everyone who shops in Primark is an arse. Just because I got elbowed in the face once in Primark doesn’t mean everyone who shops in Primark is an arse. Repeat until I believe it.
Do you know how I rationalised that ugly little belief? By telling myself I don’t shop in Primark because it’s unethical and because I want my clothes to last for more than two washes. (Both those things are also true, it’s just not the true reason I don’t like Primark.)

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Living with purpose

My purpose is to write. To share my stories and other people’s stories – especially those people whose voices are muffled and marginalised. People who stand up for humanity and thoughtfulness and against oppression and cruelty and blind adherence to a doctrine that makes no sense.

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Never has pain felt so exquisite

Yesterday morning, I rigged my shiny new trapeze – the birthday gift my wonderful husband gave me back at the end of March, 4,380 years ago – and hung upside down from my feet.

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Choking the onions

I’ve put off weeding that veg bed for a bunch of reasons, none of them good. And so I’ve wasted more time worrying about the onions than it took me to just do the bloody weeding.

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Derek the donkey thinks learning BJJ is hard

The Splendour Of Hard Things

We think that unless we can make giant leaps forward and see enormous and sudden improvements in what we’re doing, we’re not doing anything.

It’s hard to keep going when keeping going is hard (and boring).

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Just be yourself okay?

Our brains are wired that way, to always see the bad – the problem – rather than the good. It used to keep us alive back when we lived in caves.

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That escalated fast…

Well, that escalated fast.

Honestly, I’ve been thinking and mulling over and wondering what to write (and resisting the urge to make terrible jokes because too soon?).

So today I’m going to share what I’m doing while the world goes into lockdown.

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13 Books That’ll Help You Become A Better Writer

Two questions get fired at me often:
How can I become a better writer?
What books do you recommend I read to get better at marketing my business?
My answer to the first question is: write. Write every day and don’t worry too much if what you write is sometimes crap. You’ll get better.
Write. Edit. Improve. Repeat.
And read everything you can get your hands on, good and bad.

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How I stopped drinking alcohol

Since Christmas 2018, I’ve probably had fewer than 20 alcoholic drinking occasions – and when I have had a drink, it’s generally been one small one.

And it hasn’t been a struggle.

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How to Choose a Book Coach

The short, sweet, and comprehensive guide to choosing a book coach who understands how to get your Big Book Idea out of your magical brain and onto paper

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Your body is incredible

Be grateful for what you can do.

Your body and mind (which are inextricably linked) are incredible. What you can do with them is wondrous.

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Write Your Book’s Introduction In 3 Simple Steps

Think of your introduction as a sales letter for the rest of your book. Your reader is thinking, subconsciously, “What’s in it for me? Why should I give up my valuable time to read this book?” You need to convey that in your introduction. Here’s how…

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Start Writing Your Book Today

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