You'll Never See Me Again

You'll Never See Me Again

1. Writing doesn’t get easier with time. Starting a new book is horrible. I make myself plod on, waiting for inspiration. I can’t count the times I’ve almost fallen asleep because I’m boring myself. By the time I’ve got about a third of it written I start to enjoy the process, I’m liking my characters, I know where I am going with it. The last third is magical. That makes the pain of starting a new book worthwhile.

2. Discovering that cigarettes were not the magic bullet to make me write. I believed that when I finally gave up ciggies I’d never write again. But I stuck it out and I’m ok now. Like most things you really want in life, persistence is everything. Stop making excuses and get on with it.

3. Research is good. While looking at old newspapers in libraries for something as mundane as what was on at the pictures the week I’m writing about, or the price of a day trip, I often get side-tracked. It’s usually a news story, a murder or an accident and something about it captures my imagination. It might make me change the direction of the current book, or delights me so much I feel compelled to use it in the next book.

4. All work and no play makes me dull. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone. All writers need to get out, meet people, do something extraordinary, and have fun. That is if you want your book to sparkle. You should also read as much as you write. That keeps your brain sharp and you know how the market is going.

5. Don’t read reviews. I know it’s hard to resist, but don’t. There can be 20 great ones, but one bad one and you’ll just get upset and forget all the lovely ones.

6. When you do finally get published don’t expect your book to leap to number one, or to get glowing reviews and articles about you in the papers. The truth of the matter is most new writers are ignored. Just suck it up and write the next book.

You’ll Never See Me Again by Lesley Pearse is out now in paperback, published by Michael Joseph.