Some days sitting down and getting started seems impossible, whether it is a fresh chapter, an edit, or a new book. Here are some tips and insights to help you get past that blank page.
- Mary Stewart: I sometimes sit for half an hour before a blank page, longing to get up, but if I write something, however rubbishy, that gets the wheels turning and I can go on. And the next day it is always better than I thought.
- Grahame Greene: In periods when I can’t write, I keep a notepad beside my bed. When I wake up in the night after having a dream, I note it down at once. I’ve discovered dreams are like serials and the instalments sometimes carry on for weeks and in the end form a whole.
- Arthur Kopit: I put on a big eight-cup percolator of coffee and sharpen about 35 pencils and I’m all set. I have to have sharp pencils.
- Ralph Fletcher: Artists develop a love for the feel of their tools, the smell and texture of clay, wood or paint. Writers are no different. Writers love words. And while some writers get excited over a particular pen or word processing programme, words remain the most important tool the writer has to work with.
- Stewart Ferris: Diaries make you write every day, so keep a diary. Once you’re in the habit of writing every day you become a writer. Keep going with that diary until you’re ready to start your book.
- Edwin C Bliss: Change your attitude towards procrastination and you will have taken a major step towards overcoming it. Your goal is to wrench some bad habits loose from their moorings and substitute some good ones.
- James Herbert: It’s no good asking for advice and just talking about it. You’ve just got to sit down and endure.
If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.
by Anthony Ehlers
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