Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

I was a multi-award winning screenwriter and director pre blogging and vlogging (winning awards at film festivals internationally, Ch 4 and more) and I’m now writing  my first book Mumboss for Piatkus/Little Brown under the Hachette umbrella.

I’ve been writing since I was a child.

I kept diaries from the age of 4 until university and thanks to my Mum I have them all in nestled under piles of uni books on the top shelf of my wardrobe in my old bedroom.  Uncovering them recently I cringed through listacles of boys I’d kissed and exam marks (before the term listicles even existed) and skimmed through the everyday woes of tween and teenage life from not feeling listened to at school to fall outs with friends. I was instantly taken back through time thanks to those chunky diaries with impressionist prints as covers.

..I’ve taught on MA screenwriting courses at unis all over the country, have attended writing retreats abroad, and I write daily, usually all day in fact, so I wanted to condense some tips I’ve picked up over the years, that might help you. I’m often asked for support and inspiration from readers and always think a blog post will be more useful and to more than me responding to emails. I always email people back with suitable links though and I appreciate the messages.

So here, goes:

1.Creativity is a muscle that must be exercised and strengthened. The more you write, the more you write.

I write prolifically because it’s what I know and love.

I always recommend Dorethea Brande’s classic book ‘Becoming  A Writer‘ as a must-read. It was first published in 1934 and is as vital as it always was. It’s an evergreen text. I love Brande’s concept of Morning Notes, writing freely each morning until writing becomes naturalised. As with anything creative, be it vlogging or painting, once you overcome the initial fear and self-doubt we all suffer from, and simply ACT on the impulse to create, you demystify the process, and crack on.

2. Read widely and not just in your own preferred genre either, for inspiration. I try and read a book every two weeks where possible, and have several fiction and non-fiction books on the go, simultaneously. I also read all kinds of sites from tech to baby blogs and beyond.

3. Stop self-sabotaging. Re-wire your brain. The brain is malleable, and the more you tell yourself you can do something and then act on it, the quicker that mindset will become the default. Read more on this and tips on boosting your confidence.

4. Vitally, get your art out into the world. Write, paint, photograph and create. Writing is like moulding clay, you need to get your work onto the page (virtual or otherwise) so you have something to rewrite. Writing is all in the rewriting and polishing.

5. Show someone you trust your work and listen to their feedback, making a judgement on what you would like to change with your work, if at all. Keep your vision intact of course and appreciate that people come to your art with their own opinions making everything subjective but put your story/art not your ego, first.

I feel lucky to have a brilliant book editor, literary agent and manager whose opinions I trust and whom share my vision.

I’d love to read your own tips in the comments.


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My Top 5 Writing Tips - Honest Mum


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17 Responses

  1. Keeley Cox

    Thank you for the amazing tips!

    I loved reading, but haven’t read a book in years! Social media, blogging, work, parenthood etc all sit in the way! Or I let them sit in the way!! I’m going to take your advice and read a book every month, maybe 2 weeks is a bit of an over reach for me at the moment.

    Look forward to adding your book to my list.

    Keeley –

  2. Jo

    Some great tips, I am going to track down that book! I’d also add to my list; stay true to you. When you write about things you care about it flows, when you try and be something you aren’t, it’s stilted.

  3. Marina Sofia

    Excellent advice. I tend to consider only work on my novel as ‘serious writing’, so I am always furious and hard on myself if I fail to work on that, However, I do write a lot every week – and every day, probably: poetry, flash fiction, blog posts, book reviews, diary etc. It’s time I considered that a way to ‘exercise my muscles’ as well… although it would be nice to get that darn novel finished already!

  4. Melita

    Thanks Vicki for this great post. I have been thinking about writing for many years and lately complete strangers who visited my blog site were really kind enough to feed back and say that my thoughts and writing were interesting. I’m not sure where to start but your tips are really useful in helping me move forward thank you so much for sharing.

    • Honest Mum

      h Melita, your blog is utterly captivating. I would say write longer form posts as you write so well. Read widely and write about your passions. Do buy the book I recommend too. I’m going to drop you an email as well.

  5. Laurie

    I actually find writing quite hard! I would love to create more of a natural flow instead of sounding too robotic! I must look into the book.

  6. Susan Mann

    Great tips. I have read that book and it was fab. You are right, confidence is key and it takes time to get there. xx

    • Honest Mum

      Fab isn’t it and thanks lovely. Confidence is everything and just ploughing on and through the days where self-doubt rears it’s ugly head xx

  7. Nisha Patel

    I used to write in diaries when I was younger but then I stopped when I got a career. I want to do some writing but it’s so much harder than I thought! It’s so easy to get discouraged. I’m reading Dorothea Brandes book and love doing the morning pages. And I’m reading anything I can find to do with writing. Thanks for the tips and I’ll keep an eye on the comments for more tips!

  8. Susanna

    Great tips here Vicky. I also keep a little notebook with me so if I get an idea for a blog post I can write it down straight away. Xx

  9. Emma Reed

    I think confidence is key. To have confidence in yourself and what you want to say… if you feel nervous hitting that publish button that can often be a good sign! And definitely do not compare yourself to others out there. You are unique, so your voice should be too.

    • Honest Mum

      Love these tips and they’re ones I’ve learnt and shared myself before. So vital to keep working on confidence until it feels second nature.


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