Learning from mentors helps us to improve and evolve in our chosen field, and I still recall the advice given to me at the start of my writing journey.
To help other writers, I started a feature whereby established authors shared their words of wisdom and top ten writing tips.
It was a huge success and I was delighted to bring the feature back for a second season! You’ll find all the Top 10 Writing Tip articles here.
Meet Misha Herwin
Thank you Shelley for giving me the chance to post on your blog. I’ve been writing since I was about ten when I staged my play in a theatre made out of a cardboard box. Things have improved somewhat since then. I’ve had plays performed in schools and by professional theatre companies and now I concentrate on novels, books for kids and short stories.
It was a long held dream to have my work published and it’s taken time and many ups and downs to get there. Along the journey, I’ve learned quite a few things that I wish I’d known at the start.
‘Misha Herwin is a writer of women’s fiction, children’s books and plays. She lives in Staffordshire, in a house with a dragon in the garden and when she is not writing, she loves to spend time with family and friends. And when that is not possible she reads, goes for walks, works in the garden and bakes. Scones are a speciality.’
Misha’s Top 10 Writing Tips
First of all, admit to yourself that you are a writer. For years I kept this quiet like a guilty secret I was afraid to share. Once I accepted that was what I was then people took me at my word and all sorts of opportunities opened up.
Hand in hand with that, I started to talk about my work again which made a difference in the way people saw me. The odd conversation even led to some book sales that I wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Write as often as you can. Every day is best as that way you stay in the flow.
Join a writing group. For me, that has been absolutely essential. But make sure that it is a group that gives honest, well thought out feedback. Just being told your work is brilliant is of no use at all, though you do go away with a warm glow.
Grow a thick skin, so you take constructive criticism without crumbling into a quivering heap.
Edit your work and edit and edit. Leave it for a while, come back, take another look, read it out loud to eliminate clumsy sentences and edit again.
When it’s honed to perfection, stop and start submitting. And keep submitting. Don’t be disheartened if your story/poem/novel keeps coming back. If it’s any good someone will eventually take it on and if they don’t then maybe it needs more work. Also, develop a strategy for rejection. I allow myself to be miserable for a while, it used to be days, now it’s hours, then I get going again.
Decide how you want to publish. Research every option and go for the one that suits you best. Otherwise, you can waste so much time searching for agents or publishers and trying to fit your work into their criteria, when what you really want to do is to do it your own way and go Indie. Or the other way about.
Don’t expect to make a fortune or even a living from your writing. Most professional writers lecture, edit or teach as well. In fact, having a day job can feed your creativity. Writing is a solitary occupation and being among people you can listen, observe and get great ideas for the next novel/short story/play.
Enjoy the process. There’s not much point in spending years of your life toiling away at something that is highly unlikely to earn you a living if you aren’t having fun, at least part of the time.
Book Blurb of Freecycling for Beginners.
The time has come for Jane to sell the family home. Downsizing to a flat means everything must go, but her late husband’s favourite chair is far too precious for the tip.
Meanwhile Robyn, balancing her precarious career as a portrait artist with raising an autistic son, is searching for a chair with panache that will allow her sitters to pose in comfort.
Elsewhere in the city Tracey is clearing out her wardrobe at the same moment that divorced and cash-strapped Debbie is frantically seeking a prom dress for her daughter.
None of these women have ever met until Freecycle brings them together and their lives are about to be changed in ways they could never have imagined.”
BUY your copy of Freecycling for Beginners here:
And all other outlets. It can also be ordered from all good bookshops.
Connect with Misha here: