On a 2014 holiday in Malta I saw many things that could help me with my writing. I will be sharing one each week. Here is point 10 I learned:
When you thank them or apologise, the Maltese say, “No problem!” Your writing
shouldn’t be a problem. Remember – you write because you love it. Don’t lose
sight of that, ever.
In point 7, There’s Always A Way Up The Hill, I wrote, You’re not writing
essays for school or reports for work, under duress. You are writing because
it’s something you have to do, for yourself. But it’s easy to become your
I’ve written previously about not letting people steal your dreams. But
sometimes we can sabotage ourselves.
Being an author involves more than writing. Even traditional publishers
expect authors to undertake a large amount of their own publicity. Once you get
on social media it can draw you in and take up all your time.
When I started I followed every link and read so much advice, I was
overwhelmed. If I saved emails, my inbox grew huge. If I bookmarked websites, my
bookmarks got out of control. I was afraid I might miss something important. But
soon it was drudgery, all the fun went out of it.
I realised that lots of people give good advice but you can’t listen to it
all. I settled on a few good sites for support and advice, and a few places to
interact with potential readers, and it all became manageable. Then I could
relax and enjoy it. And I had more time for my writing, which is what it’s all
about, isn’t it?
I also wrote in point 7 about finding ways to write when you’re pushed for
time. There’s lots of advice about writer’s block, but I think writer’s block
comes on when you’re stressed. You need to relax and give the creative juices a
chance to work.
Write every day, but don’t fret about it. Enjoy it. If you’re up against a
deadline it can get a bit fraught, but if you’re organised and consistent, you
won’t get behind.
You need a clear head and low stress levels to function at your best. Go out
for a walk, watch a movie, read a good book, spend time with your friends and
This is almost the last of the things I learned in Malta about writing.
There’s one more – and it’s a warning! You’ll see next week.
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a
surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science
fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now.
Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz