Top Ten Tips on Writing

Write something, anything, every day. Excellence comes through practice. To this end….

Keep a diary, or journal.

Find your “voice”. (I found a good tip on this was to write as if you were talking to a good friend over a glass of wine.) A good way to check this is…..

When you write, say the words out loud or say them inside your head.

Write in odd places at odd times. Don’t enslave yourself to a routine or a desk.

Keep sentences as simple as possible.

Don’t forget to read. Find authors whose writing inspires you.

Taking notes has never been easier. You already carry a notebook every day in your mobile phone. Start the habit of jotting down ideas, conversations, take photos. I often e-mail myself ideas. On long drives, I have called my own answering machine and left them on that.

Read this post by Scott Adams. As he states, it covers about 80% of what you need to do to write well.

Check this list of ten books that author John Simmons has selected as “inspiring for their use of language. When you’re stuck for a word, these can unlock something inside you”.

  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Sopranos by Alan Warner
  • Greetings to our Friends in Brazil (100 Poems) by Paul Durcan
  • The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth
  • G by John Berger
  • The Periodic Table by Primo Levi (tr. Raymond Rosenthal)
  • The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
  • The Vivesector by Patrick White

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