Stella’s five top tips:
- Keep going, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
- Write every day if at all possible.
- Don’t expect to be brilliant immediately. Or, perhaps, often. Very few people can be brilliant all the time. Being brilliant occasionally will have to suffice for most of us.
- There is no muse, stop waiting for one. Be your own muse.
- Don’t go chasing markets or assumed readers or trends, by the time you’ve finished the book there’ll be a new trend and you’ll have missed that boat. Write what you are moved to write, driven to write, and at least then you can be sure of pleasing yourself.
Stella Duffy has written thirteen novels including her latest, The Purple Shroud. The Room of Lost Things and State of Happiness were both long-listed for the Orange Prize. She has written ten plays and over fifty short stories, including several for BBC Radio 4. Her collected stories are published by Salt in Everything is Moving, Everything is Joined. She won the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2002 (Martha Grace) and 2013 (Come Away With Me), and Stonewall Writer of the Year in 2008 (The Room of Lost Things) and 2010 (Theodora). She wrote and presented the BBC4 documentary How to Write a Mills and Boon and has reviewed for The Review Show (BBC2), Front Row (BBCRadio4) and written articles for most major newspapers in the UK. In addition to her writing work she is a theatre director and performer. She is currently working on a new stage play for Three Legged Theatre. She is the founder and Co-Director of the Fun Palaces Campaign, a series of Fun Palaces across the UK and beyond, engendering, celebrating and enabling public engagement in the arts and sciences on a community and local basis. You can read her blog at: stelladuffy.wordpress.com
The Gilder’s Apprentice
You can read Stella’s exclusive short story, The Gilder’s Apprentice, on The Independent website.