Every now and again, I'll open the pages of one of the numerous writing-related books I have here on my desk. This morning I found my nose in DBC Pierre's Release The Bats and thought I'd share this passage that I highlighted on first read through.
I love it. Such a good spin on a great piece of advice. Don't worry about the long and winding road to writing a book. Take unexpected paths. Follow your nose. Go on smaller adventures.
Enjoy this week's collection of literary loveliness. Some good stuff for you. 👇
Many kisses blown into a mask,
PS A big wave and slap of the thigh to all you new subscribers this week. We're all very pleased to have you. Grab a seat. Check out the archives.
Links of the week
Every issue I collect and share the best advice, apps and other shenanigans that I find on my internet travels. Find something useful? Subscribe for free.
I love Lydia Davis' short stories and this essay on writing reads exactly like her fiction. Taut, full of wit and for writers, jam-packed with golden nuggets. I love every sentence. Which is handy, because that's what it's all about. The process of writing sentences. Go read. Enjoy.
Oh, these are brilliant. Every single one of them. Whatever you write, do stop and read this list of writing tips because they are short, helpful and beautifully written.
Learn to look at your sentences, play with them, make sure there’s music, lots of edges and corners to the sounds. Read your work aloud.
Even if Shakespeare wrote it, or Virginia Woolf, it’s a cliché. You’re a writer and you have to invent it from scratch, all by yourself. That’s why writing is a lot of work, and demands unflinching honesty.
And then this:
Compression, saying as little as possible, making everything carry much more than is actually said. Conflict. Dialogue as part of an ongoing world, not just voices in a dark room. Never say the obvious. Skip the meet and greet.
Some fantastic quotes on writer's block and getting bogged down in this short blog post by Austin Kleon. The general premise – if you find it boring to write, it will be boring to read – is a pretty good yardstick, I think. Maybe the same goes with getting started? If you're not excited about your idea, maybe it's not a good idea.
I’m not one for obsessing over stats and analytics when it comes to this newsletter, but open rate over time is always a good measure of whether people are interested in what you’re sending them. Got your own author newsletter or tasty side hustle and bustle? You’ll find this post from the Ghost folks a handy resource.
I’m a fan of Notion, as many of you will know. I use it to write and manage this newsletter and for many other things too, including plan and track my current novel writing progress. I’m making it up as I go along but these templates might be handy if you want to get started and give it a try.
Tweets of the week
What the heck?
Draft Mode is a weekly newsletter by Iain Broome, author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Join 1000+ subscribers and start receiving tools and tips that help you improve, publish and promote your writing. Subscribe for free.
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