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.


18 thoughts on “Eight Secrets For Great Writing.

  1. Lo 9 years ago

    So true !!! Particulary the food thing…

    Love your books.

  2. Cathy C 9 years ago

    This is why I could never work from home!

  3. bookwitch 9 years ago

    So stop trying to outdo me on the blogging front!

  4. Nina Killham 9 years ago

    I’m going to try your first secret right now. The seventh, unfortunately, I’ve completely failed at. We won’t even talk about number 8.

  5. Nicky S / Absolute Vanilla 9 years ago

    LOL! Brilliant! Though I have to tell you, that despite following rule 3, I still managed to sneak out for lunch last week…!

  6. Kathryn Evans 9 years ago

    Oh Meg, am laughing so much – have you moved into my office?

  7. Judy Dyble 9 years ago

    exactly the same thing applies to song-writing…apart, possibly, from the 60,000 words bit – although that can consist of ummm err err err 60,000 times…
    Oh it’s all so true…:-)

  8. Susie Day 9 years ago

    But leftover chicken tikka masala is so inspirational! *burps*

  9. Dulcinea 9 years ago

    All so true. I am wearing hideous clothes, have already eaten some of my supermarket home delivery despite it only arriving this morning and some of last night’s leftover chicken supreme, have cursed having children, had two cold calls and one call from work and read this blog and spent too much time on Facebook – it isn’t even 1pm. Yep – hardly a paragraph written on my WIP.

  10. KMLockwood 9 years ago

    Snortle! Joy – I can only do No. 3 as my fiends will attest. I would add a rider to 8 – no Facebook either because you will have to like 14 friends’ statuses ( is that the plural?) , explode with rage and indignation at the political posts and be amazed at how clever your pals are.

  11. Nick Cross 9 years ago

    This is spot on. And I work from home in my day job as well, so it’s like double-jeopardy. But then I do have some of my best ideas when I sneak out to lunch…

  12. Candy Gourlay 9 years ago

    This is going to be a classic! wish i wrote it!

  13. Trish Campbell 9 years ago

    Excellent. I’m sure many of these ring true!

  14. Stroppy Author 9 years ago

    All so true. And how did you get hold of that photo of the last dress my daughter bought?

  15. cathy cassidy 9 years ago

    you are a genius. Official.

  16. lola may 9 years ago

    hello Meg, mum’s just read me your rules for writers and I thought it was really funny – apart from the bit about not having children. My parents always seem to write about me and that’s got to be worth a few extra dresses. I like your books, bye bye. Lola
    (mum says I should say that I’m 11, but infact I’m 13 next year).

    1. Meg 9 years ago

      Hi Lola. I was just kidding about not having children. If I didn’t have my gorgeous daughter (who’s also 12) no one would make me cookies and tell me what to wear and give me advice on my books. Having said that, she does spend all my money on clothes….!

  17. angela cerrito 9 years ago

    I thought I was the only one in the world who ate baking chocolate…!

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