Sunday, 18 December 2016

Latest Article in Writing Magazine

January's Writing Magazine is now out and available, with my latest 'Beginners' piece called 'Courting Success' - or, as the strap line says, Make Your Own Luck.

Easy to say, of course, but on the surface, not that simple to carry through. But is that right?

If you look at the basic message, like any task or job, writing successfully gets better and easier the more you do it. Sounds trite, but I firmly believe it. And where some writers go wrong is completing a project, then sitting back to await the results.

That way lies disappointment. You have to get on with the next one - straightaway.

Courting success in writing is a bit like courting in the romantic sense; you have to try more than once if you want any chance of finding someone you really want to spend time with. Unlike romance, you also have to be professional and be prepared to write something new over and over again. (And no, that comparison probably doesn't really bare too much inspection - but I'm sure you understand).

Do it consistently, and editors will get to know that you can turn in the goods and meet deadlines.

Until then, however, don't sit on your laurels. Finish one project, punt it off - and start another. When I was writing short fiction years ago, it wasn't uncommon to find I had 30-40 stories out there on submission. It wasn't a scattergun approach, but my way of not agonising uselessly on what I'd done, but of getting on with the next potential sale instead. Not so easy to with books, but the idea is the same.

As the old saying goes, the harder you work, the luckier you'll be.

This is likely to be my last blog post for 2016 (unless I get a whizzer of an idea that needs airing), so I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the best of all years to come in 2017.

Happy writing, too, of course.

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