Earlier this year, Allison Tait spoke with the delightful Lindsey Kelk – author of contemporary women’s fiction novels. She has sold more than 1.5 million books thank you very much. (You can hear the full interview here on episode 63 of our So you want to be a writer top rating podcast.)
Near the end of their chat, Allison asked Lindsey for her top three tips for anyone wanting to write for a living. Her formula seems remarkably straightforward – read, write, listen, rinse, repeat.
“Read as much as you can, and as broadly as you can across as many genres, like magazines, websites — I don’t care, just read.
“Put your eyes on things and see how different people’s voices come together; how different people’s stories come together. Even if you’re planning to write romance, there’s something you’ll find in a sci-fi novel that you’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s really smart, I could use that.'”
“Write as much as you can. I would love to say, ‘Just sit down and write your work,’ but I know that can be scary and that first blank page is terrifying. So, maybe start blogging or tweeting, you know – just be writing, so you can be comfortable with the words that are coming out of your head and seeing them.”
“Just listen, just always be listening, because there are stories everywhere.
“I hear so many people say to me, ‘I would love to write, but I don’t know what to write about.’ And there’s no point in trying to write if you don’t have a story to tell, because every page will be painful – you’re trying to force something that doesn’t exist. But there are stories in every conversation you have with every human that you interact with.
“So, always be listening and always be paying attention. I think that’s really important as a writer.”
You can read a transcript of Lindsey’s chat on our podcast here.