If your life were put into a book, would it be interesting? If not, there’s probably something wrong. The good news is, it’s nothing a little adventure can’t fix.


Not only is this beautiful, it’s also how writers see the world:


Somewhere in you there is an ache. Everyone on this earth is blessed with at least one pit of dark, gut-wrenching emotion that most of the time remains ignored. Tap into it, siphon off of it, use it to fuel your writing, and the words on the pages will start to beat in the rhythm of a broken heart.


Find a writing partner. I cannot emphasize this strongly enough. Find a friend who loves the craft as much as you, and sit down with them at a diner over coffee and map out a story. It could be a novel, a poem, a play – it doesn’t matter. If you find the right person, co-writing is the perfect combination of adrenal challenge and homey comfort.


Dedicating a book to someone should go far beyond simply putting their name in it. Pick someone and write the book for them. Make every sentence an act of service, every paragraph a declaration of affection, every page a testimony of love. Books written for love will last ten times longer than books written for money.


I was sketching a fantastical vehicle for one of my characters – it looked something like a winged motorcycle. A friend was sitting beside me, and kept looking over. Afterwards, he came up to me and asked: ‘What were you drawing?’

‘One of my characters rides it in the story I’m working on,’ I said.

He may or may not have looked at me like I was crazy . . .


Before you begin a book, write your own praise quotes for it.

‘This book is a testament to grief, a gentle and intimate portrait of lost love.’ – Nobody In Particular

‘It hooks you on page one, and the light-hearted, rollicking fun doesn’t stop until the last sentence!’ – A Random Magazine

‘So you’ve got your cup of tea and a warm seat by a rainy window. Now all you need is (title of your book).’ – Five Star Review

It may seem like tooting your own horn, but in reality it will give you a good sense of where you want your book to go, what you hope the end aesthetic result will be. Print out those reviews and tack them onto your wall.