Hello and welcome to KSP's new blog series, Top Tip Tuesdays, designed to inspire your writing habits - or just distract you for a few moments! - during lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic.
These top tips have been retrieved from the KSP archives. They will be published fortnightly on Tuesdays and come to you courtesy of past Writers and Fellows in Residence.
Photo: Chloe Higgins visits KSP Writers' Centre in September 2019 to talk about her debut memoir The Girls. Pictured left with KSP Chairperson Elizabeth Lewis.
Top Ten Tips (How to Stay Sane at KSP: advice to myself)
By Chloe Higgins, KSP's 2016 Emerging Writer-in-Residence:
1. You don’t have to write a novel today, but you do have to write 500 words.
2. Write early. First thing. Other than instant coffee and a trip to the toilet, nothing should get in first between you and that page. Especially email.
3. If you can’t write early, read early. If you need something else to round the toilet and the tea out to the magical number three, make it reading.
4. Ask Shannon (or someone else) to do some shared accountability writing with you. Agree to text/email each other a quick ‘done!’ when you’ve hit your agreed word count for the day. It helps.
5. Write what you want to write, not what you think is going to make you a ‘serious writer’. It took me four years and 50,000 words to realise I’m actually just not that into politics.
6. There’s no writing problem a walk can’t solve.
7. Plot is priority. The weather can wait.
8. When you ask for feedback, actually mean it. Defending what you were ‘trying to do’ is not taking feedback.
9. Write. Read. Repeat.
10. Write. Read. Repeat.
Chloe Higgins writes about the things we're all afraid of: death, sex, love, and how we feel about our mothers. Chloe is the Director of Wollongong Writers Festival, a casual lecturer and tutor in creative writing at the University of Wollongong where she is completing a PhD, and a member of the Finishing School Collective. Originally from south-west Sydney, she now lives in Wollongong and travels the world for three months per year. The Girls (Pan Macmillan, 2019), a memoir of family, grief and sexuality, is her debut and won the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards People's Choice Award 2020, and was short-listed for Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-fiction 2020.