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Collated Answers from WW interviews

Tips, tricks, things to pass on to dedicated writers?
Anne BrookeDon't let the bastards grind you down. Some of what's said to you might well be rubbish. On the other hand, some things might be useful and you can learn a hell of a lot from then. Don't be afraid if your writing style is that you have no idea what happens next - I rarely plan and, when I'm writing, I'm often just as surprised at what's happening on the page as I hope my reader will be. But, honestly, the most important thing, and something I feel very passionately about is: write from the heart or the gut - whichever does it for you. Sod the market and what it might want. Write only and always what moves you. I believe that with everything I feel.
Clare SambrookRespect the reader. Treat writing as craft; become an apprentice.
Iíd been a journalist for fifteen years before properly turning to fiction and then I started learning all over again how to write.
Before starting Hide & Seek I took classes in London with Maggie Hamand and Henrietta Seredy http://www.writingcourses.org.uk
I took the first draft on an Arvon course taught by Lynne Truss and Philip Hensher (www.arvonfoundation.org <http://www.arvonfoundation.org> ).
After half a dozen rewrites, when Hide & Seek was as good as I could make it, I got a critique from John Murray and wrote the whole thing again. (See WW interview with John for more details.)
Eva SalzmanI always prefer to give Ė and get Ė the bad news first! Firstly, donít have romantic illusions about the realities of the freelance life. Some aspiring writers claim they donít want to be ďruinedĒ by reading but if you donít want to, why should anyone want to read what you write? This is just a lousy excuse for a megalomaniac way of thinking. We all delude ourselves on the subject of originality. Originality is not what you do, but how you do it. You should feel if youíre making new discoveries, but be wise enough to know who was there before you.

Once, addressing a group of Columbia University students, I first talked to the fiction writers about markets and genre fiction. Then I turned to the non-fiction writers, and made some earth-shaking pronouncements about writing to deadlines and how media works. Finally, I turned to the poets and said 9as Iíve done here: ďWell, Iíve some bad news and some good news. First the bad news. Thereís no market for poetry. Now the good news. Thereís no market for the poetry.Ē Speaking of this, I havenít got to the good news now, but if you canít find that out yourself, this isnít the line of work for you!

Fiona RobynFocus on enjoying the process of writing and try not to be seduced by the idea that publication will solve all your problems. Find some writing friends to support you Ė and that can include people who write about writing Ė Natalie Goldberg, Anne Lamott and Brenda Ueland have kept me company over the years. Being a writer can be lonely, and has many ups and downs. And it shouldnít need saying, but read read read!
Helen CastorWrite for yourself. If your principal goal is to please other people, youíll end up ventriloquising or in a mess. That doesnít mean you canít push yourself in particular directions Ė but it has to satisfy you, or it wonít work.
James BurgeKeep writing. Go back to it and read it. Ask yourself if it is any good. Rewrite until the feeling of dissatisfaction goes away.
Jenn AshworthKeep at it, I suppose. It is slow, often dull work, but it usually comes together in the end, and if it doesn't - well, writing is a cheap hobby, isn't it?
Also, be interested in other people's writing. Read blogs, go to live lit events and festivals, and join forums. There isn't any need to be lonely unless you want to be.
Malcolm BurgessDonít give up, try to take rejection lightly and keep your vision. There are so many different reasons for rejection many of which are nothing to do with you and some are frankly idiotic. But read, read, read (or the radio/ film/ TV equivalents), network without hating yourself and read trade publications like The Bookseller or Broadcast. You will get there, honest.
Neil J HartRead lots. Write lots. Reading is part of the process of writing. Split it 50 / 50. Know where youíre going with your story. An outcome. This may change along the way but if you have no ultimate goal then youíll just meander along and get lost somewhere.
Sarah StovellJust do it.
Trilby KentBe patient: publishing is a slow business. Be professional. Learn to take criticism. Donít write pretending to be someone else: write as you. Clarity is key. Donít start submitting that first draft the minute you finish writing it: put it away for a month or two, then look at it again. Take your time. Read lots.
Vanessa CurtisBe prepared for an endless journey in the quest to improve your work and be published. Listen to criticism from any agents or publishers who are kind enough to give you any and use the advice to edit, rewrite and tighten up your work. The learning process never ends. Keep all your rejection letters and refer back to them every time you write a new piece of work. Be prepared for people to look at you weirdly at dinner parties when you tell them what you do, and for excruciatingly long silences whilst you wish youíd kept your mouth shut and they struggle to find a way to get back to discussing jam recipes and holidays. Keep fit Ė it helps the whole writing process. And keep going Ė plough on, past the rejections and the disappointments.
William SuttonOoh, I donít know. Write every day. Sometimes itís worth pushing yourself to write in a way you wouldnít normally try. Sometimes itís worth finishing something you fear isnít worth it.