Know a budding writer? Roddy Doyle has ten tips to get them writing

Some timely advice on how to write

Roddy Doyle: “Don’t try to plan everything before you start writing.Writing is a bit like making a friend. You gradually get to know him or her.”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Roddy Doyle: “Don’t try to plan everything before you start writing.Writing is a bit like making a friend. You gradually get to know him or her.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

It’s there in front of you - the blank space with the  blinking cursor or the empty page in a notebook.  Your fingers grasp the pencil or the pen;  your hands hover  over the keyboard. There’s so much to say but  how to start and, once started,  how to keep going?   That’s the challenge. You and only you can do it, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here's Roddy Doyle with some tips.

1. Be kind to yourself when you start. Fill pages as quickly as possible. See every filled page as a small achievement.

2. Don’t worry about the quality of what you write until after you’ve filled lots of pages.

3. Don’t be too worried about being worried. It’s part of the job. That’s you wondering if what you’re writing is good enough.

4. Give whatever you’re writing a title, as quickly as possible. You can change it later if you don’t like it.

5. Don’t try to plan everything before you start writing. Writing is a bit like making a friend. You gradually get to know him or her.

6. Make writing an important part of your daily – or weekly – routine. Being too busy isn’t an excuse. Write about being too busy!

7. Trust your own language, your own collection of words. You have thousands of words that you can use.

8. Chances are the words that come into your head will do fine, eg “horse”, “ran”, “said”.

9. Change your mind. Good ideas are often killed by better ones.

10. If you want to, show what you’re writing to other people. But remember: your opinion is much more important than theirs.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.