Jeanette Winterson’s 10 Rules for Writing

Jeanette Winterson’s 10 Rules For Writing


Jeanette Winterson is a British writer who was awarded an OBE for services to literature. Her book, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, and it was adapted for television by Winterson in 1990.

As one of the most original voices in British fiction to emerge during the 1980s, Jeanette Winterson was named as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Writers’ in a promotion run jointly between the literary magazine Granta and the Book Marketing Council.

She has won various awards around the world for her fiction and adaptations, including the Whitbread Prize, UK, and the Prix d’argent, Cannes Film Festival. She writes regularly for various UK newspapers.

In 2011, her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? was published. She was born 27 August 1959.

Jeanette Winterson’s 10 Rules For Writing

  1. Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.
  2. Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.
  3. Love what you do.
  4. Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are ­doing is no good, accept it.
  5. Don’t hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went in the drawer it will be just as bad when it comes out.
  6. Take no notice of anyone you don’t respect.
  7. Take no notice of anyone with a ­gender agenda. A lot of men still think that women lack imagination of the fiery kind.
  8. Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.
  9. Trust your creativity.
  10. Enjoy this work!

Source for 10 Rules
Source for image

 by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this, you will love:

  1. Annie Proulx’s 5 Rules For Good Writing
  2. V.S. Naipaul’s 7 Rules For Beginner Writers
  3. Dennis Lehane’s 10 Rules For Writers
  4. Sarah Waters’ 10 Rules For Writers
  5. Hilary Mantel’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction
  6. Writing Advice From The World’s Most Famous Authors

TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.