MINDCRAFT How to write more


In this Mindcraft series, Catherine Whitmore is giving writers advice on how to write more.


You want to write more? It's simple!

  1. Plan to write
  2. Write


You’re welcome…


Well, clearly, it’s not that simple. If it was, I would be a millionaire with a World Record for the shortest bestselling ‘How To’ book.


In fact, no, if it was that simple, we’d all be writing prolifically and have no time to read about how to write more.


In reality, the steps often look a bit more like:


  1.  Plan* to write.
  2. Argue with self over what to write/ whether to write / how to write/ whether to wait for and check in with a support group before you write.
  3. While you make that decision: make a brew and/or eat cake. Scroll YouTube videos of people who know more than you about writing or, maybe, of people who have cats. Plant a tree. Enrol in a writing course you know, deep down, you don’t need. Create a Pinterest board for your character and take a really long time deciding whether their hair is worn just above or below the shoulder.
  4. Write… or not.


*For those of you who dislike the word ‘plan’, please feel free to insert ‘decide’ or ‘want’. I know many of you carry your ‘Pantser’ membership cards with pride.


These four steps bring up many issues, two in particular that I’d like to touch on this week. They plague many writers.



Resistance – ‘All the better to see you with.’


In Step 2 above, what we’re experiencing is resistance. When we make a decision, the voices in our head who question those plans are resistance. Resistance is a wolf, hungry to veer you off track. Cunning, dressed as grannie in a floral bonnet and those cute little half-moon glasses. Resistance will beckon you with reason and comfort to come closer to what we perceive to be safety and pleasure (cake, tea, cat vids) away from your greater purpose. And, if you are Little Red Riding Hood in this analogy, then you also need to be the Wood Cutter and sort that Wolf out good and proper.



What’s the worst that could happen?


When resistance crops up, in Step 2, we might feel any version of uncomfortable feelings: shame, guilt, dread, fear of failure, disappointment, uncertainty. All that good stuff that we would give to our character just before the climax, at their lowest point. We would be looking for our characters to put everything right, have an epic battle, solve their problem and feel better. ASAP.


It will be those feelings that we are avoiding when we do all the things in Step 3 to make ourselves feel better, even if just for the short term.


But what if you just felt the uncomfortable feelings?


What’s the worst thing that could happen?


What’s the best? I’d offer that the best thing that could happen would be that you followed your writing plan and wrote.


What if that is your epic battle? Let the uncomfortable sensations wash over your body and do the writing anyway.


How to write more:


1. Plan to write.


2. Greet the voices of doubt in your head as if they were a cold caller with a job to do - ‘no thank you, I already have a plan.’


3. Feel all the feelings.


4. Write.


*Header image: in-house collaboration between Ell Rose and Tita Berredo





Catherine Whitmore is a mum and rarely-evil-step-mother from Greater Manchester. When not writing and life coaching, she enjoys family time (on the whole), Liane Moriarty and a boxset binge.


Ell Rose is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures. Contact them at illustrators@britishscbwi.org


Tita Berredo is the Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI British Isles and the Art Director of Words & Pictures. Contact her at: illuscoordinator@britishscbwi.org

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