1. DO have a plan. A beginning, a middle of sorts, an end-ish. Approximately 26 words. You can fill in the other 60,000 words at your leisure.
2. DO NOT take up a new hobby, like, say, horseriding, just when you’re embarking on a difficult and complicated new book. Please do not question how I know this.
3. DO wear funny old unpresentable clothes when you write. They will keep you from sneaking out to lunch when the going gets tough.
4. DO NOT wander down to the kitchen every time you feel a bit stuck. You will only be going for a cup of tea, but you will accidentally eat half a scone, three biscuits, some leftover chicken tikka masala, a few dates, the rest of the cooking chocolate and a banana.
5. DO NOT answer the phone. It will not be your agent reporting on a record-breaking rights auction in Beijing, but someone On Your Street Right Now! trying to sell you a kitchen.
6. DO turn off the e-mail on your computer. If you are incapable of doing this, at least turn off the sound, so you don’t hear the ‘ping’ every time amazon tries to sell you one of your own books.
7. DO NOT have children. This is more a general rule than one specific to writers. Children will take all of your money and spend it on clothes you will never be able to borrow. This will make you despise them and yourself.
8. DO NOT spend time reading or writing blogs. This rule needs no explanation.