Getting writing

This is the time of year when undergraduate students, in the institution where I work at least, are writing their final year dissertations.  I’ve had conversations with several of them about the importance of getting things down on paper (partly because it’s something I don’t find easy myself) and of ‘writing through’ stages where you find it difficult to write anything that makes sense.  Occasionally I suggest that students should look at the techniques that professional writers use to keep going, and this week the Guardian has helpfully published a range of tips from the famous and successful.

Some of them, of course, are specific either to fiction or at least to published books – Roddy Doyle’s advice not to search Amazon for the book you haven’t written yet is rather charming.  But others do work for all forms of writing.  I particularly commend the first few bullet points from Neil Gaiman (starting with write/put one word after another) as being relevant to every form of writing

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