Lessons of a Writer #2

Write as Much as You Can and Finish Stuff

Written by Sidra Ansari

Think about setting a daily or weekly target for yourself.

You may have already heard about the “10,000-hour rule” which Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in his popular book, “The Outliers,” where he states that “Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness”.

This basically alludes to the fact that even though practice may not lead to perfection, it definitely makes greatness!

So, even if you don’t get a chance to write everyday, which I feel is ideal, then try to clock in as many hours as you can. And aim for your daily or weekly goal. Write it down and check it off as you hit it. Not only will this help with accountability, it is also immensely satisfying.

This is when the writers who don’t have the time, energy or passion fall by the wayside and you will already stand out in the slush pile as somebody who takes their craft seriously.

Secondly, you “finish stuff” as Neil Gaiman so eloquently puts it. And then let other people read it. You may want to send things straight out and deal directly with editors yourself, bypassing the excruciating pain and bewilderment of having someone who knows you read your stuff. The only negative effect to this is, if your work isn’t hitting the mark, it is difficult to get feedback, making it nearly impossible to improve quickly.

Instead, I would recommend joining a writer’s group. In this way you will form natural alliances of beta readers and critique partners. Remember, they may notice what’s wrong with your work, but rarely know how to fix it. Also, their views are subjective. So, the best thing you can do after you get feedback is to leave your work in a drawer for some time. How much time depends on any imminent deadlines. When you do this and look at it with fresh eyes, it is much easier to make the changes required.

So that’s it from me. Keep writing, keep finishing, keep sharing and one day, the magic will happen!


Published by thekoyalwriters

We are a South Asian Collective and totally passionate about writing. We are a virtual writing group. Between us we are authors, teachers, spoken word artists, play wrights, novel writers, flash fiction writers and poets.

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Coffee and Paneer

Tiny stories and random thoughts

Sidra Ansari

Award Winning Author|Creative Writing Workshops|@Ladybirdbooks|@beaconbooks|@penguinwritenowlive|

The Koyal Writers

A Collective of South Asian Female Writers Based in the UK

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