Giving writing advice is a little bit like horse training. Everyone does it differently. This is Merlin being 'trained'. Merlin didn't like being trained. Merlin likes noms and slow meanders through mountains. Do fancy stuff like side-passing, wooo no! But he's a good boy. He grumbled lots and then said, look, I can do it, okay? Do I have to like it though? No. And the point is, although it was good to see him doing the fancy side-passing and stopping on his haunches, it didn't make him happy. Knowledge makes us all more rounded people and while input into anything gets the brain-gears going, it can also stop you dead in protest.

I am a little like that when someone says - you must. I'm like one of those little kids who asks why is the sky blue, and if you haven't got the right answer keeps going - why?

So if someone says to you - you MUST write every day, you MUST write an outline, you MUST do six drafts, I am all, like - why?

You can argue that writing is a professional job and MUST therefore have the discipline of a job and a routine, and you can totally stultify your inner muse. Although, I seem to remember someone poo-pooing that one too. It's NOT a muse dammit; it's not some angel whispering sweet nothings into your ear, it's work!

Er, if I want to call it my muse, my spirit guide, my angel, or those strange scary voices in my head. I will, thanks muchly.

The 'rules' are simple actually. You sit down and write, with clarity and not too many adverbs, and hopefully with the commas in the right place (whistles - blame my english teacher). You write something which you feel passionate about and that you want to share. And then you do it all over again, lots.
Oh, and you have to be stubborn. Very, very, very stubborn. And persistent. And just a little bit crazy.



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