Gaiman’s 8 rules of writing

Without any godmother/father or anyone to guide, writing a book has been a process of running, walking, crawling and creeping through a huge black room without any walls and a floor which is potholed. It just wouldn’t have been possible if I hadnt had the wonderful world of Internet by my side, and endless gyan from my godparents and guides—authors I love, their writings, blogs, interviews and how to write action sequences (which I am superbly bad at). If it hadn’t been for occasional flashes of their torches, my writing would have continued to fumble in a black hole.

At moments I am down, one of my fave newsletters is the Brain Pickings which gives you inspirational two-bytes to keep you writing and doing stuff. Today I share with you one of my favourite writer’s thoughts on how to write taken from the website. I do not religiously follow Neil Gaiman’s blog, one of the most  popular and successful writers in Fantasy today, but I did nod at EVERYTHING he suggested down here.

1. Write

2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.

5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

7. Laugh at your own jokes.

8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

I nod at everything in enthusiastic agreement. Believe me, this is how I finished my second book two months before I had thought I will finish it. I just kept on writing. I am at number 4 in the sequence and taking a break. After that, I will start with the editing and fixing of the book. Thanks Gaiman, for saying exactly the thing needed to me to keep going!