Never let go of your writing dreams

 In Newsletters, Tips for Writers

It’s been a demanding year. There’s not a person I’ve spoken to who hasn’t faced a cost-of-living crunch, trouble at work or home, or an illness. I want to share why you should never let go of your writing dreams.

In times like this, it’s natural to think of ditching a few luxuries. But never forget that writing is not a luxury.

We need to remind ourselves – you and me, both – that no matter how tough the times, we should never let go of our dreams. Creativity matters – it’s what keeps us sane.

As Alberto Manguel said:

‘…this may be the essential, perhaps the only justification for literature: that the madness of the world will not take us over completely though it invades our cellars . . . and then softly takes over the dining room, the living room, the whole house.’

Writing (and reading) has certainly kept the madness from invading my house these past months. I’d like to thank you all for your support and love through my breast cancer surgery and recovery. I’m going through radiation now and I couldn’t have asked for a more caring community.

Never let go of your writing dreams

Thank you all. You’ve been there for me and we, at All About Writing, will always be there for you.

Writing is hard at the best of times, especially when you’re struggling along by yourself. It’s our passion to offer you a supportive writing community where you can develop your natural talent and we can help you make your writing dreams come true.

If you’ve ever considered writing – fiction or creative non-fiction – I’ve no doubt you will have faced one or two of these challenges:

You’ve paralysed yourself with the thought of the first word.

Where on earth do you begin? And how? Should you know your story beforehand, or simply start writing?

Well, here are a couple of key pointers to get you going:

  • It’s best to start by getting to know your characters. Spend real time on them – discover what makes them tick. It has the added advantage of suggesting a multitude of story ideas.
  • Even if you don’t know every twist and turn of your story, be clear about where your characters start out, and where they’ll end up. It’s like setting out on a journey – you need to know your destination so you don’t get lost.
  • Look carefully at the story you’re telling. Is it best to tell it chronologically? That can work, but sometimes it’s more compelling to start somewhere in the middle, or even near the end.

Feeling stuck?

And if you’ve touched your fingers to the keyboard, there’ll have been a point when you felt stuck. Perhaps your fingers were telling you something? But what?

Here are a few key pointers to recognise what might have happened:

  • Make certain you have enough tension to last the book. Put your characters through hell and make sure the stakes are high enough, or you’re going to feel bored and peter out.
  • Every scene, no matter how artfully written, needs some literary conflict. If you’ve written a scene in which no one wants or needs anything badly, you’ll feel bogged down. There’s nowhere to go from there.
  • Every scene has to take the story forward. If it doesn’t, you’re going to wander off on a tangent, and … you’ll feel lost.

If you’re not certain exactly what literary conflict is or how to raise your stakes … we can help. Even if you do have an idea, we’re sure reading our blogs can give you greater insight. Search our website for more information on any writing issues you might be having. I’m sure you’ll find help and inspiration.

Happy writing


PS – In case you don’t know who we are, I’m Dr Jo-Anne Richards*, author of five novels, and my partner’s Richard Beynon, award-winning screen and film writer and story consultant. We founded All About Writing sixteen years ago to pass on the secrets of creative writing that we’ve learned the hard way.

*PhD in creative writing

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