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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2016 > Before you write a word

Before you write a word

Author and lecturer James McCreet addresses the passionate and frustrated writer in all of us

I was looking through an old journal the other day. It was written twelve years before my first novel was published and its major concern was how to become a writer. When would a voice finally emerge? How might I improve my style? Where did story ideas come from? Why could I never finish anything despite so passionately wanting to do so?

Retrospect is bittersweet. If I could go back in time and visit that younger self, what might I tell him about eventually becoming a novelist? Knowing him, I don’t think he would have listened to anybody’s advice, which was no doubt part of the problem. When somebody has achieved what you have not, they’re at least worth hearing.

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About Writing Magazine

Star interview with Crime Novel of the Year winner and griplit star Clare Mackintosh 1 topic, 100 books: Make the most of your speciality Before you write a word: Start your writing life the right way 10 top tips: How the pros keep writing Author experiences: • Going back to school for a creative writing MA • "How I wrote three books at once" • Readers share their success stories WIN £119,000 in writing prizes News you can use! 20 packed pages of Writers' News

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