Sir Andrew Motion’s 10 Rules for Writing

Andrew Motion, John Milton, novelists, Oscar Wilde, playwrights, poets, Uncategorized
Sir Andrew Motion FRSL (born 26 October 1952) is an English poet, novelist, and biographer, who was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009.
Here’s his list of advice for writers:
1.     Decide when in the day (or night) it best suits you to write, and organize your life accordingly.
Easier said than done. This piece of advice assumes that you live alone and are master of your own fate. I would have thought a prerequisite for this dictum would be deciding whether there was actually time in your schedule for writing in the first place. Sometimes, a writer finds him- or herself in a season in life where writing simply isn’t possible. For example, if you have several young children (or an elderly relative) to look after it might be out of the question during that particular period of your life. Conversely, if you do have some free time, you still might find yourself with no openings for writing because other less important matters take up your time, like watching three hours of TV per night. There are priorities that need to be worked out if you want to be a writer.
2.     Think with your senses as well as your brain.
I once tried thinking with my nose, but didn’t really get very far. In fact, I think I gave myself a nasal concussion.