Writing habits

Writing goals: How to achieve your big writing dream in small steps
Achieve your writing goal in small steps

We’ve had over 3,000 people take our writing challenges so we know a thing or two about goal setting. We know that having a poorly thought through writing goal – one that’s vague or has no real stakes attached to it is just as bad as having no goal at all. And we also know that having a good goal – one that’s specific and personal to you – can make the difference between finishing and failing. Writing goals: Here’s all our best tips condensed. [click to continue…]

Tracking: How to use reflection to optimize your writing routine
The benefits of tracking your writing

Writing is hard but with the right systems, you can make your writing life easier – and that means you’re more likely to write. Saying that, sometimes the best systems in the world won’t help – you need a nudge and some support to get going – and keep going. And this is where tracking and reflecting on your writing progress can really help. [click to continue…]

Achieving focus: How to kill your procrastination gremlins for good
Achieivng focus and killing your procastination

Writing can be hugely rewarding but the process of reaching The End can be a challenge – and that’s why we procrastinate. But it’s only by knowing when and how you get side tracked that you can kill your procrastination gremlins and keep. Here’s how to use the science-backed methods of ‘choice architecture’ and ‘controlled breaking’ to keep focused your writing. [click to continue…]

Scheduling: How to find the time to write in 5 easy steps
Schedule your writing time

You’re busy – I get it! Sometimes it feels that your daily schedule so jam-packed full of activities that it’s impossible to write. But in reality, it won’t be. There will always be nooks and crannies that you can use to do some writing – or do something that contributes to your writing goal. You just need a way to find this time and that’s where scheduling or ‘time blocking’ using our traffic light method can really help.

[click to continue…]

Accountability: How to keep writing using rewards and people pressure
Accountability can help you write

Whether you’re writing a blog or a blockbuster, it can be a lonely and difficult old business – but it doesn’t need to be and in fact it shouldn’t be if you want to keep going. It’s important to keep yourself motivated and moving forward by making yourself accountable – both to yourself and to others. [click to continue…]

Writing routines: Why systems beat willpower – every time
Why writing routines beat willpower

All writers are different – they approach their projects in different ways and are motivated and demotivated by different things. But they are the same in one way: they all need a plan and a system. Because without a system you’re just relying on your willpower – and that’s really hard. So, here’s two practical, actionable methods you can use to get a writing routine that will help you write unthinkingly.  [click to continue…]

What do editors do? Understanding the author–editor relationship
What do editors do?

There is an industry tale about a novelist (no longer with us) who fought tooth and nail with her publisher if they dared to alter a single punctuation mark in her manuscripts. The situation was – how can we put this? – challenging. On the verge of despair, the publisher finally found an editor who could work with the author. The books were published to wide acclaim, and enhanced by clever editing. So what happened? [click to continue…]

The Alice Lowe interview: “Until you’ve made a film, people won’t trust you to make a film.”
Alice Lowe

Writing deadlines have always been important to Alice Lowe, TV and movie actor, writer and soon-to-be writer-director of another feature length comedy film – still under wraps. Writing deadlines are now set for her, at one time they were rather more self-imposed. [click to continue…]

How Armando Iannucci writes – an exclusive interview
How Armando Iannucci writes – an exclusive interview Thumbnail

From his early days working with cult comedy icon Chris Morris to make cutting edge radio shows like On The Hour to creating top US comedies like Veep, Armando Iannucci has always put writing – and writers – at the centre of of his work. But how does something like The Thick of It and most recently his new film, The Death of Stalin (in cinemas October 20th) get written? And what tips does he have for aspiring comedy scriptwriters?

[click to continue…]

Genre fiction: Where, when and how to write it
How to write genre fiction

Here’s how to spot a lit-snob: if you see their eyelids flutter shut for a brief moment as their upper lip begins to curl a G softer than a French je ne sais quois soaked in Lenor and wrapped in a cashmere sock, they’re about to drawl ‘genre fiction’ with nauseating contempt. (I saw you just stuck your upper lip out curling a soft G. Me too.) Meanwhile, the rest of us are clutching our tatty old James Pattersons and Helen Fieldings, wondering what on earth the difference is. Or, more importantly, how do we write genre fiction? [click to continue…]