I wrote for a long time. Then I was not writing for a long time. Then I started writing again. I learned two things:

  1. Not writing is much worse than writing, even if writing is so difficult you do anything to avoid it, including, but not limited to, working a real job.
  2. The writing does the writing. If you’re not writing at all, then you never have any ideas.

Here’s the only advice you need:

Sit down and write. Write about not writing if you have nothing else to write about. Write about it until you have no option but to bloody well do some.


Joanne Leonard has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, where she studied with Sir Andrew Motion, Jo Shapcott, and Susanna Jones. She has been on two Arvon retreats, studied short story writing with Scott Bradfield , as well as being a member of a writers’ group for several years. She has critiqued countless pages of her companions’ works, been critiqued in her turn, and learned a good many things about the craft of writing along the way.