Category «Mistakes»

Never giving up (Mistake #108)

I’ve heard all the inspirational quotes. I know the will to persevere is the difference between success and failure. I know that the difference between a writer and a published writer is that the published writer carried on. I know that aspiring writers expect writing advisors and experts to say “Never give up” – and, …

Becoming a Writer (Mistake #106)

Know any Writers? I hope not. I’ve shared breathing space with several over the years and how my personal swearbox remained unfilled on each occasion remains a matter of mystery to me. A Writer is three things: a/ a former aspiring writer b/ a current professional writer, and c/ a writer who wants all current …

Brexit (Mistake #105)

I have my views on the Brexit, but I shan’t tell you them, because you don’t care. I presume you have yours, and I hope you extend me the same courtesy, because I don’t care either. Don’t write about why you think we should stay or why we should go. Do write about what the …

Binning the boring and the bad (Mistake #104)

Some examples of boring ideas: * Me and My Beauty Routine – for a glossy women’s magazine * The NHS is Wonderful – for the Guardian * “I love Dogs” – for a dog magazine These are just terrible. When I see something like this I don’t tell the student they’re terrible, but I do …

Experimentlessness (Mistake #103)

Experiment, argues Simon Whaley, in one of his recent posts, in which he called for writers to submit contrasting and distinctive entries when intending to submit more than one to a writing competition. It was such a good idea, I thought the principle – or a version of it – could be applied to pitching …

Desperation (Mistake #101)

This may sound harsh but it needs to be covered.    Nobody wants to hire desperate people. You’re a writer. Writers write. Writers want to sell their work. Every editor knows that. It comes with the territory. Wanting to sell is the default setting.  Being desperate to sell is not the default setting.    If …

Volte Facebook (Mistake #100)

It took me a while to succumb to the temptation of Twitter. Once I did, I found it enjoyable and very valuable – as a news feed, as a medium to interact with other writers, and to learn about opportunities I could pass on to my Writers Bureau Students (if not make the most of …

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