1. Never assume it will be straight forward, even when you have been accepted. The publishing world has a way of throwing googlies!
2. Don’t get disheartened. No matter how good you are, there are hundreds of other voices out there, just as good and maybe better. It often comes down to the tone of voice the publisher is looking for.
3. Be prepared to rewrite, rewrite and rewrite. And rewrite again.
4. Equally, beware of over-editing or you can lose the freshness and soul of your writing.
5. It really does help to write every day, even if just for a few minutes composing an email.
6. Have pictures, postcards or a selection of words/phrases to use as ‘triggers’ if you are struggling with an existing piece, or to create a new one.
7. If it works for you, have more than one project on the go, then you can pick the one which suits your mood.
8. Explore different lengths of work and different genres to help develop your ‘style’.
9. Beware overuse of ‘qualifiers’, i.e. adverbs. If it is your style to employ them, it can be a challenge to find alternatives. There are only so many ways you can say ‘ in such and such a fashion’!
10. Create a list of exciting and imaginative metaphors.
11. Collect pictures of people and places to use for descriptions of characters and settings.
12. Don’t rely on internet information for research. Always aim to confirm facts through three different sources. If you are struggling in your garret while writing your masterpiece and are on a budget, try scouring the charity shops for books. It is astounding what you can find!