29 responses to “How to Write.”

  1. adele geras

    What a fab piece! Love it! Every word is true and you can’t say that about much, can you?

    1. Shelley Souza

      Ditto. (And, no, I am not plagiarising “Ghost.”)

  2. Shelley Souza

    I feel the same way about the time I spent writing up to three articles a day, five days a week, for over three years. While this didn’t help me in finding a quick way to structure and write the kind of novel-length story I want to tell, the sheer grind of it did teach me how to write to deadlines and how to produce something cohesive, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in one thousand words or less. Even all the years of self-doubt, it turns out, have not gone to waste. In the end, nothing in life is a waste, once you figure out what your real passion is and go for it. I am so glad you did just that, dear Meg. xxxs

  3. David McMath

    That is good advice for all – no matter who has us making cloddish, heavy shoes for them. Or writing blurbs and movie tags.

  4. How to Write. | Meg Rosoff | Read Read Read | Scoop.it

    [...] I spent fifteen miserable years in advertising and when I finally left, had nothing to show for it except a few ads no one remembered — and a flat bought on my…  [...]

  5. Vanessa Harbour

    Absolutely brilliant piece. I was in PR for a while and understand exactly what you are saying. Your list is superb and one I will share with my students. Thank you

  6. Martine

    timely advice for those of us engaged in NaNoWriMo
    thanks
    martine

  7. Catherine

    Good advice to print out and hang on the wall, thank you for sharing it Meg.

  8. jackie

    I was in illustration for 15 years before I found that words were fun too. All of the above are brilliant tips for writing, and the one it took me most time to embrace is the ‘thinking’. I still catch myself only believing myself to be working when I am at the ‘paper face’, and yet I would say 90% of the time is thinking, or as my parents would say ‘doing nothing’. George MacKay Brown described writing as an interrogation of silence. Hunting the silence these days is one of the things that I find hardest. First hunt down a silent space, then allow the mind to breathe, then chase the ideas. And always run with passion.

  9. Hannah Parry

    My parents were part of the “Mad Men” advertising generation and, though it provided a living, it made them miserable too. I’m glad you got out of it.
    Thanks for this list. I’m keeping the faith about number 12.

  10. Lucy Daniel Raby

    Lovely blog post and so wise. I too was a copywriter for years before I got into kids TV writing. Then finally into books – and seemingly out again. Everything you say is true. I have also found that everything I’ve done before has contributed, it’s called ‘transferable skills.’ You build on what you’ve done before and use it.

  11. A. Colleen Jones

    Yup. I’m feeling that way at the moment with my current day job. Great advice. Love your books. Can’t wait to read the next one.

  12. Donna L Martin

    What a great reminder of what to focus on! I think I will print this out and put it on my bulletin board in my study. Great post!

    Donna L Martin

  13. Diana J Febry

    Well said.

  14. Stroppy Author

    Brilliant, Meg, and as Adele says – all so true!
    I shall put a link to this on the page for my creative writing students.

  15. bookwitch

    Yeah, but where can I order the shoes?

  16. cathi rae

    lovely post… i am waiting for my years of horse poo based activity to be useful in any way except for building impressive shoulders lol

  17. Michele

    Hi Meg,

    Love this post. Glad you were in advertising so we could meet. Glad you moved on so the world could enjoy your unique and wonderful voice.

    Hugs,

    Michele

  18. Meaghan

    Meg – I was a lawyer so I get the chained to a bench making a shoe thing. Your advice is so good. Your books even better. Your books are like your advice taken. So succinct. So breaking-the-rules. I’m in the wilderness now. Hope to find my way out soon. Think it will help if I keep coming back to these. Thanks for the flashlight. Hope it’s a headlamp so I can use my hands.

    Meaghan

  19. Scrapiana

    Yep, nothing’s wasted alright. Great post, Meg! Keep ‘em coming.

  20. How to Write. | Meg Rosoff | Henrietta Richer

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  21. Mona

    Love this post. Thanks.

  22. Recommended reading, 29 November | Amy Birchall

    [...] to write, Meg Rosoff (she’s one of my favourite YA authors. If you haven’t read How I Live Now, [...]

  23. Livingfortoday...

    Yet again you have inspired me! I remember last summer when I heard you speak at an event taking place at school and your story was most incredible for me. It has given me a different take on my life and it has really shown me what things are important to me and how actually growing up can be a bit tough sometimes… So thank you very much and I look forward to reading many more of your books.

  24. Sandra Danby

    Write for yourself, because you want to, because you enjoy it. The more you write, the more you learn. After 30 years as a journalist, I’m still learning.

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