Monday, September 1, 2014

"Supernaturally" Tips For Aspiring Writers

Over the weekend, I had the very great pleasure to chair the "Supernaturally" event with YA authors Laini Taylor and Elizabeth Knox at the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers' Festival.

L-R: Laini, Elizabeth, moi.
(My thanks to HachetteNZ & The Realm for the photo.)

With authors of Laini and Elizabeth's calibre speaking it's not surprising that the question time included a request for "tips for aspiring writers."

So I thought I'd share something from their replies and add a few "extry" tips of my own today.

Laini Taylor
The remark Laini made that really resonated with me was (& I paraphrase):

Tip 1:
"Writing takes at least 100% of what you have to give so it's important to make other life choices that support your ability to give that 100%+, for example choosing an undemanding part-time or day job."

While Elizabeth Knox made an equally important observation (and again I paraphrase):

Elizabeth Knox
 "No matter how demanding the writing life we need to make sure we keep having fun with our writing."

Yes indeed to both these points. I'd also add the following from my own experience:

Tip 3:
Write, not necessarily what you know (in which case no Fantasy would ever be written—a point both Laini and Elizabeth also made!) but what you love because that is the creative touchstone from which almost everything else follows.

Helen Lowe (that's me again!)
Tip 4:
"Life," to quote Hippocrates, "is short but the art long." So don't wait. Start now!

Tip 5:
The writing flows easily—keep going; the writing comes hard—keep going. Keep going!

Everything else is up to the writer, because every creative voice is unique and must find its own 'right path."

Write on—and may the muses be with us all.