Gazette column: We need to quit thinking of ourselves this Christmas and start thinking of others

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about Christmas and how, this year with all the shopping and the excitement, we need to stop for a moment and think of others before ourselves. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Top 5 writing tips: PD James tips for writing novels #amwriting

Top 5 writing tipstop5


This week: PD James’ novel writing tips

The author PD James sadly passed away last month. She was an amazing woman. After having her first novel published in her forties, she never looked back, writing over 20 crime novels, many of which were adapted for film and TV.

Crime author PD James
Crime author PD James

She was a hard worker, the type of writer to simply get on with it. I discovered her novels through my father in law, and so when I heard of her passing, I looked up her works and found a web page interview where she talks of her top tips for writing novels.

Below, I have chosen my favourite five, ones that, to me, really resonate. To get a full list of PD James’ top ten, I’ve popped a link below. Read, enjoy. And write.

Top 5 PD James writing tips:

1. Find your own routine. Are you a morning person or evening? A lark or an owl? Figure out what time of the day you work best at and stick to it – you’ll be at your most productive. Works like a charm.

2. Read, write and don’t daydream. This one speaks for itself, although, don’t let the ‘don’t daydream’ bit put you off. This, to me, simply means don’t procrastinate. Daydreaming in its actual form can, in fact, help the creative process, aid the flow of ideas when, say, you are stuck on a tricky scene. Basically, just get on with it.

3. Never go anywhere without a notebook. Yup, deffo. Ditto iPhone with notepad function – works equally well.

4. Never talk about a book before it’s finished. Agree. Because it may change, you may edit it to within an inch of its life. Until you are certain you’re 100% happy (until an editor gets hold of it…) keep shtum.

5. Be aware that the business is changing. Publishing is different even from when I was a kid. To me, change is a good thing, something to be embraced and capitalised on. No moaning about e-books or self-publishing. Nope. Instead, simply say, ‘Oh, okay. Great.’ Then adapt and crack right on. The results may surprise you.


For the link to the interview with PD James for her full top ten tips, click here


Any top tips on cracking your writer’s style? Great! Share them with the group!

**Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**