- What do I know? Seriously, I haven't even got a book on the shelves yet. Why are you even still reading this?
- You appear to still be reading this. I like your style - you won't be pushed around by anyone. I bet if I told you to do something, you'd go out and do the total opposite.
- Under no circumstances, transfer £50,000 into my bank account.
- Also, do not give me a multi-book publishing deal, a new brain or a lifetime's supply of cake.
- You probably don't believe me, anyway. Every year, millions of couples have their first baby. Millions of friends try to tell said couples how said babies will change/ruin their lives and said couples completely ignore them. This is a basic evolutionary trick, because if people understood how impossibly difficult it is to bring a baby into the world, no-one would ever have children. Exactly the same principle applies to writing a first novel – everyone thinks it will be easy for them, because they are "special."
- This blog post was going to be about something completely different. But that clearly would have been a mistake. It was also, at one point, entitled "Serendipitydoodah" – you can draw your own conclusions about that.
- Remember, no-one can tell you how to write. They will try, oh yes they will, My Pretty. But all they can ever tell you is how they write. Only you can find the method, circumstances and subject matter that suit you. I was recently praised at a crit group for coming up with a new book idea that was "Very Nick." This is only because I have spent a lot of time in the past writing stories that were "Patently not Nick." Once you exclude all of the things you should never have attempted, only the good stuff is left.
- It's why CTRL-Z was invented. See, I just pressed it and deleted something really funny. That'll teach you.
- You're unlikely to make the same mistake twice. Unless you are very stupid. You're not very stupid, are you? You could always try reading more slowly if you're having trouble keeping up.
- Wait a minute, people have more than one child, don't they? Isn't that making the same mistake twice? This doesn't count because their lives are already wrecked. It's like fitting an extra person in the lifeboat.
- No-one ever learnt a thing from getting everything right. Except how to be smug. 90% of the candidates on The Apprentice claim that they have never failed at anything.
- They are lying.
- This is why they are so utterly useless.
- Art must take risks, or it is not art. Profound, huh?
- What do you mean, "huh?" I've gone right off you now.
- There's always a second draft And a third and fourth and seventeenth. They're only words. They are expendable.
- Every mistake makes your writing better. For instance, I've decided that this blog post has been one big mistake from start to finish.
P.S. I'm still waiting on that cake. Whenever you're ready.