Novelicious Amanda got to chat to Author Jane Green recently about her new book The Patchwork Marriage, her writing and lots more. We asked her what advice she would give aspiring writers and here's what she had to say:
JG: I think the first thing is do it. There are two types of people in life – those who talk about it and those who do it. The people who succeed are the ones that do. It sounds so simplistic and stupid but I'm just very aware of meeting lots of people who talk about wanting to do lots of things – not writing particularly – but they talk about being very good at something and they're not doing it. Writing is one of those things that anybody can do. You can't necessarily get a publishing deal [laughs] but if you want to write then you need to be writing! There is no other way. Writing is very much a muscle. The more you write, the better you get. If you can get into the habit of writing every day – it doesn't have to be for long – but it's a muscle, it's a discipline, it's a habit. So, if you can set aside time every day to write, that is a wonderful start.
Also, write the story you need to tell, not the story you think will sell. Don't start thinking 'I'm going to do 60 Shades of Green'. Write the story that you need to tell.
Start at the beginning and work through till you reach the end. I meet a lot of people who say they have five projects on the go and I think 'Well, how are you ever going to finish?' It has to be linear! A writer's biggest downfall is procrastination and the easiest way to procrastinate is to start another project. One has to just keep going on the one you've started.
A: So focus and determination, then?
JG: Focus, determination and discipline. Discipline, discipline, discipline! Even when you don't feel like it. Because I was at the Daily Express for a couple of years, I learnt the art of discipline, the art of writing even when you're not inspired. When you have an editor standing over you every day saying 'Jane, we need a thousand words in an hour', you can't say 'Well I'm sorry, I'm not inspired'. That's how writing is. Even if you're not inspired and you have no idea what to write, you sit down at your desk and you start writing. Something always comes – and even though it might not be very good, you can always go back and edit later.
Our full interview with Jane will be coming to Novelicious very soon. Be prepared – it's fantastic!