It always astonishes me that some people who tell me they want to write a book never read books. That’s like getting a plumber in to fix your leaky toilet, a plumber who has never trained to be a plumber!
You can’t be a writer without being a reader. You need to study your craft and that means reading everything and anything – fiction and non fiction. Only that way will you begin to see how to structure your story or text, how sentences fit together and it’s a great way to improve not just your spelling but your grammar and punctuation.
I read a wide range of different things from magazines and newspapers to fiction and non-fiction. My interests are wide, but the things I most like to read about (fantasy and history) are the things I most like to write about, which is why all my kids books to date are either fantasy or history! My books adults are different, but I have got a crime novel set in the 1920s on the back burner and a fantasy novel written for young adults to come out.
I actually disagree with the image above. Writing is 100% commitment. It’s all very nice to put off writing by cleaning out cupboards or watching a soap on tv, but that won’t get the book written. Sit at your writing space and start writing. I prefer to do a bit of story planning before I start as I find this helps me focus more, but you’ll have your own way of doing things.
Don’t you tell me you don’t have the time to write – as many, many would-be writers tell me. Make time to write, sit down and get started. Don’t edit as you go along. Just get the story down and then go back and edit.