Just Getting Started?

These articles are all about what to do if you're just starting out on your Author Adventure: planning, preparation, and dealing with your Inner Dickhead.

? long train journeys are the best

The thing about tiny beetle steps is, eventually they add up to great big leaps.

We get hung up on the great big leaps. We strive for massive improvements, to become an overnight success, and wish for miracles to happen fast.

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Why the World Needs Your Book

Photo by Tom Podmore on UnsplashIf you’re considering not writing your book this year, think again. If you’re tempted to put it off for any reason—please think again. The world needs your story. If you are any kind of a misfit—if you don’t fit into the straight, white, male, cis-het, neurotypical, elite world, or if you have a message and

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Vicky holds a chainsaw aloft, triumphant over the treestump

31 Writing Tools to Get Your Book Done

There are approximately 927,833 writing tools out there to choose from, and the choice can be bewildering.

So this week, I’m sharing a quick rundown of all the writing tools I use and a brief writeup of why I use them and where you can find them.

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Writer’s Block Is A Big Hairy LIE

Have you ever been stuck? Staring at the Blank Page of Doom in despair?

Yep, me too.

Have you ever blamed it on “writer’s block”?

Yep, me too.

Here’s the thing, though: there’s no such thing as writer’s block.

It’s a made-up myth, a lie we tell ourselves to get out of doing the work.

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Vicky hangs in a tangle of trapeze, not quite sure what she’s going to do next

The Magical Shitty First Draft

It’s a magical talisman, the first draft. It allows us to let go of our self-consciousness, let go of expectations, and play. And from it, we can make the thing we want to make.

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Writing for Joy

Right now we could all use a little more joy, and fun, and space to do something just for ourselves, just because we want to.

Not because it will be useful or profitable or productive, necessarily.

But for the sheer joy of it.

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Don’t rely on your friends

It’s up to us to persuade the right people that our books are worth investing in.

Nobody else is going to do it for us – and that’s a really cool position to be in because it means we’re in charge of our own destiny. We get to make our own successes (and failures) without relying on (or blaming) others.

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The morning monster cure

If you want to write your book, you need to build a good writing habit or you’ll never manage it.

What are you struggling with? What feels horrible?

What if, instead of saying you’ll write 500 words a morning, all you have to do is make a cup of tea, open your document, and scribble down what you’re going to do next?

Make it easy and make it attractive.

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? ? ? Tell me about yourself

“Tell me about yourself”

Four little words guaranteed to strike terror into most people’s hearts, especially if we’re standing in front of a roomful of people.

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Derek the donkey thinks learning BJJ is hard

The Splendour Of Hard Things

We think that unless we can make giant leaps forward and see enormous and sudden improvements in what we’re doing, we’re not doing anything.

It’s hard to keep going when keeping going is hard (and boring).

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But WHY are You Writing this Book?

Why are you writing your book?

Is your Big Idea for your book setting your heart on fire? Do you feel butterflies when you think about creating it?

I’m asking because your WHY is important.

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? we need tiny beetle steps not giant leaps

The thing about tiny beetle steps is, eventually they add up to great big leaps.

We get hung up on the great big leaps. We strive for massive improvements, to become an overnight success, and wish for miracles to happen fast.

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the 1%-ers

We think that unless we can make giant leaps forward and see enormous and sudden improvements in what we’re doing, we’re not doing anything.

It’s hard to keep going when keeping going is hard (and boring).

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Choking the onions

I’ve put off weeding that veg bed for a bunch of reasons, none of them good. And so I’ve wasted more time worrying about the onions than it took me to just do the bloody weeding.

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Take it like a writer

Criticism and feedback can feel like eating kiwi fruit with the skin on: uncomfortable, even painful, leading to shortness of breath.

But only for a few minutes. Maximum 7 minutes. Then I have to pull myself together and crack on.

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Wooden clown

Future You Will Thank You

If we wanna do a thing, we have to make time for it.

And look: I don’t hold with this idea that we all the same 24 hours in a day.

We all have 24 hours, for sure—unless you’re reading this on Mars or something in which case HI PLEASE CONTACT ME BECAUSE WE NEED TO TALK.

But our 24 hours are not the same. I don’t have children or a third job.

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Living with purpose

My purpose is to write. To share my stories and other people’s stories – especially those people whose voices are muffled and marginalised. People who stand up for humanity and thoughtfulness and against oppression and cruelty and blind adherence to a doctrine that makes no sense.

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Vicky, with blue hair and an orange striped top, looks morose with notebook and pen in hand

“I Hate My Book”

If you’re writing something and feeling some kind of way—like maybe you hate it, or strongly dislike it, or want to possibly set fire to it, imagine I’m sitting next to you and gently asking, “But what do you mean by that?”

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a look of horror

The 67,000 mile-an-hour Book

We all have the same amount of time in the days, weeks, months, years.

So why do some people get tons of writing done, and others struggle to make any progress at all?

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Why Am I Not Writing When I Want To Write?

People worry a lot about writing a boring-ass book.

And when I say people, I mean me. I worry. About everything, all the time—but specifically, right now, about writing a basic-bitch book.

Check out these 8 mistakes to avoid…

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You are not your business

You are not your business. You are not your art.

Take the criticism. Allow the reaction. Then examine it carefully.

Is there a lesson you can learn and use to improve? Take it.

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Wooden clown

How to Avoid Looking Like an Amateur Author

I’m going to make a big assumption about you: you’re an expert. A pro. Same goes for your book—so the last thing you’re gonna want is for details to let you down. Check this out for everything you need to avoid looking like an amateur.

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Never has pain felt so exquisite

Yesterday morning, I rigged my shiny new trapeze – the birthday gift my wonderful husband gave me back at the end of March, 4,380 years ago – and hung upside down from my feet.

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Advent calendar with text: Thisis our advent calendar. Every year we fill it with sweets and little notes to each other. This year we have filled it with ideas. Future stories.

Filling Your Bucket

Back in March 2020, it was like the entire world took a giant swig from the DRINK ME bottle, as we hurtled down the rabbit hole. I.e. the world shrunk. And individually, I shrank. Like many people, I retreated into my head, made a blanket fort, and hid there… and I stopped writing. I had nothing to

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13 Books That’ll Help You Become A Better Writer

Two questions get fired at me often:
How can I become a better writer?
What books do you recommend I read to get better at marketing my business?
My answer to the first question is: write. Write every day and don’t worry too much if what you write is sometimes crap. You’ll get better.
Write. Edit. Improve. Repeat.
And read everything you can get your hands on, good and bad.

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How I stopped drinking alcohol

Since Christmas 2018, I’ve probably had fewer than 20 alcoholic drinking occasions – and when I have had a drink, it’s generally been one small one.

And it hasn’t been a struggle.

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Vicky wears a faux-fur coat and is face down on a hotel bed in Bruges, being idle.

The Virtues of Idleness

This is a sonnet to laziness, idleness, loafing—a spirited rejection of the Puritan Work Ethic and all it implies. Read on and discover why idleness should be part of YOUR life.

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Like Wholesome Cocaine for Your Soul

None of us has any control over a global pandemic or other people’s behaviour or thoughts or actions. I don’t think we’ve ever lived through a time of such uncertainty. And yet I was trying to control it anyway. Perhaps you were, too. That’s what humans do; we try to control stuff.

Which is, quite simply, exhausting.

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Peel your eyes

Writing is a source of great anxiety to a lot of people – including me, sometimes. Just because I’m a writer doesn’t mean I have all my shit together.

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Start Writing Your Book Today

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