Perfect Procrastination through Research

We writers know that research is one of the real three rs, don’t we? It’s the foundation of everything we do. Therefore, you have to take it seriously and do all your research up front before you start writing. Because you can’t start writing if you don’t understand your subject. Alas, no. If you happen […]

Three Steps To Getting Good, Usable Feedback On Writing

Welcome to part two of my short series on reader feedback for writers (not sure if you’re a writer? Look here to find out). Last week I outlined my reasons for not listening to the feedback offered by just any old body. Today we’ll go through the necessary—if not sufficient—steps you’ll need to take in […]

Just Because It’s Hurting Doesn’t Mean It’s Working: Why You Should Largely Ignore Reader Feedback

Tell people you’re writing something and it brings out their inner critic. They’ll queue up to give you their unsolicited opinion. Even perfectly benign souls find it hard not to rip your work to the kind of shreds which wouldn’t be out of place on a pulled pork sandwich. Faced with these acts of savagery, […]

The Pen is Mightier than the Word Processor

It may be Bank Holiday Monday, but I’m still thinking of writing (and if you’re here on the day itself, I’m guessing you are, too). Today I’m thinking about how much I love writing with real pens and pencils on real, physical paper. And as you might expect from one with analogue sensibilities, I have […]

The Writing Process: Messy, Long-Winded and Repetitive. When You Do It Right, That Is

So, for a while now you’ve been hearing me bang on about why you should view writing as a process. And I bet you’ve been wondering (at least some of the time) what this process should look like. Good news: there ain’t no should. Back in the sun-dappled world of my schooldays, teachers were fond […]

How to Relax Your Brainal Sphincter

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ll know how strongly I recommend thinking of writing as a process. If you want to be more fluent as a writer, this perspective is a must. Today’s topic illustrates why. Have you ever sat down to start a piece of writing and felt paralysed by the activity […]

Got Writer’s Block? Try This Fix

Do you find writing difficult? I do. This may come as a bit of a surprise when you consider that for most of my life I’ve written a lot, and practically every day. I even write on my days off. Evidently a taste for difficulty lies somewhere in my psyche. For me, writing’s difficulty comes […]

Why Excellence In Writing Isn’t All About the Finished Product

I love good writing. If you’re here, you probably feel the same. So it’s understandable if you’re sceptical about my title, and are wondering what there could be to writing other than a polished result. Well—at the risk of coming over all metaphysical—there’s a lot more. For one thing, there’s process. Back when I worked […]