December 23, 2016 @ 9:47 AM

The profession of an author … Writing tips 8, from one of them

The only sensible way to approach the profession of writing is to treat it … as a profession. It is a craft – an art with its own techniques and disciplines that can be learned and practised.

These are things, given a modicum of talent, that in time may enable writers to express themselves – and readers to engage – with words in ways that are both artistically fulfilling and profitable.

From boyhood I’ve never forgotten my headmaster at school assembly repeating the aphorism that success is ten per cent inspiration and ninety per cent perspiration. It’s something, as a writer, I’ve always taken to heart.

Madam Muse is the ten per cent. The rest is concentration and hard slog: a way to ensure that, even when Clio and Calliope, Melpomene, Erato, Thalia and the rest of them are silent and hiding under the desk, the writing will proceed – and each day one more page will get added to the pile.

Next time: my seven sensible steps...