The first book about writing I ever read – back in the days of yore – was ‘To Writers With Love’ by hugely successful romance writer Mary Wibberley. Although I didn’t aspire to write romance as such, I wanted to add a little romance to my murder mysteries, and this book was fabulous for practical advice on the nuts and bolts of ‘how to’ as well as guide to tax and agents and all sorts.
But the greatest thing about this book was the two crucial things it taught me: 1. That I – even I – could be a writer, and 2. It wasn’t going to be easy. Now if you’ve ever seen my blog before, you will know by now that I veer back and forth between two poles – heady enthusiasm and despair.
She said, ‘Don’t look down.’ And this is the best writing advice I ever had. It is so easy to step back from what you’re doing and lose your nerve, you can look around you and get freaked out by the enormity of what you’re doing. then you lose your way, you doubt yourself and you fall. So don’t. Don’t look down. Keep pressing forward, onward and upward. Only when you click ‘upload’ (or maybe, ‘send’) can you stop to look around you and enjoy to view from the top. Until you get there…
…Don’t look down.