- Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you canâ€™t sharpen it on the plane, because you canâ€™t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
- If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
- Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
- If youâ€™re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a Âmemory stick.
- Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
- Hold the readerâ€™s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you donâ€™t know who the reader is, so itâ€™s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What Âfascinates A will bore the pants off B.
- You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: thereâ€™s no free lunch. Writing is work. Itâ€™s also gambling. You donâ€™t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but Âessentially youâ€™re on your own. ÂNobody is making you do this: you chose it, so donâ€™t whine.
- You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. Youâ€™ve been backstage. Youâ€™ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a Âromantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
- Donâ€™t sit down in the middle of the woods. If youâ€™re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
- Prayer might work. Or reading Âsomething else. Or a constant visualization of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.
I love Margaret Atwood. Great advice about not whining:)
Great master peace of art. Good message delivered in poetic form, sinks deeply into the heart.
The back exercise is for me. I get back pains easily these days when typing away on my PC. Will adopt some back exercises now
This is the exactly what I needed. I think I know how to get rid of my writer’s block now.
Atwood has always been an inspiration to a lot of writers. Her way of thinking is so refreshing.
Writing is never easy and it is a passion. Let us all write from the heart. I love this woman
Great piece of advice, it really insightful and inspirational. This can really help a writer to succeed.
Writing is never easy..it takes hardwork with passion..some people are just naturally good..but no matter how good you are ,their is always space for improvement
Great tips, I can see that you love writting for the way how you care about all the details and posible distractors.
Great writing tips. Writing, true writing, is a craft just like an art and we always should strive to improve upon it.