Hi, my name is Alys Jackson and I'm an author and poet

based in Adelaide, South Australia.

My work has been published in books, magazines,

anthologies and online.

Start writing – 10 tips on how to start writing.

So how to start writing? Many people have great ideas or experiences that they one day plan to put

down on paper, but how many actually do start writing? Starting to write can be a daunting prospect. It

took me years! So I decided that my first blog should be all about sharing some of the more useful tips I

have come across along the way. And if you have any tips to add, please feel free to put them into the


  • What to start writing?

It is far easier to start writing if you choose something true to you: something based on your own

experiences. What you do with those experiences is up to you.  Eccentric Uncle Harry might look great in

the role of a psychopathic gardener? Start carrying a notebook to write down all those great ideas

and read as much as you can. You’ll soon have enough to start writing.

  • What is your genre?

Now decide what you’re going to start writing: Fiction, Poetry or Non-Fiction? This may seem

obvious but many writers try all three before finding out what they are best at.

Are you writing for children, young adults or adults? Is your audience in America or Australia? Your

Ideas and language will change depending on your audience; including your spelling.

  • Do some basic research

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to write do a little bit of research.

Find out what other similar writers are doing. How many words are there in a picture book these

days; or a young adult novel? Do you know a Tanka from a Haiku from a Sonnet?

A small amount of research will give you some basic, helpful guidelines.

  • Set yourself a goal

Now set yourself a goal. How many words are you going to write a day/week?

If you plan to write a book of 90,000 words, how long will it take you to finish if you

write 1,000 words a day?

  • Set aside a time

Set aside times to write and stick to them. I write at least 5 times a week,

and always at the same time. Mornings suit me best but it doesn’t really matter.

Do whatever suits you but stick to it. And don’t forget to let friends and family know so they

don’t disturb you.

  • Quiet and comfortable

Find a quiet place and set up a working area that is comfortable and

with as few distractions as possible. No phones or facebook! And make sure your area is ergonomic:

choose a chair that supports your back and ensure your monitor is at eye level.

There’s nothing more off-putting than a sore back!

  • Join a Writer’s group

Join a local writers group. You will meet people just like you. Some of them

may be published already, others may be just starting. It doesn’t matter. They may well be the ones

who inspire you to keep going or point out those mistakes we all make when we start writing.

  • Go to a workshop

Go to a writers’ workshop. There are lots of great workshops that will help

you improve and develop your writing as well as help you find out where to send your work.

  • What now?

Have you considered why you’re writing? Fame, fortune, fun or family?

There are dozens of outlets for writers, places where you can send your work once it’s finished. Check out

the hundreds of writing competitions. Some have entry fees but others are completely free and many

have very generous prizes, including publication. Or you could submit your writing to a publisher,

agent, magazine or online journal. Or you could go ahead and publish it yourself.

And don’t let people tell you it’s too hard. Just keep trying!! You’ll never know how good you are unless

you start writing. ☺

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