Every Writers Six Ds

Every Writers Six Ds has a few thoughts for those who are stuck.

I love the apostrophe, and think it's vitally important but the internet spider that scans our sites takes an instinctive dislike to the poor little fellow.

I know not to whom I should give credit for these wise words, gleaned somewhere, but they have been an inspiration to me. I return to them often should I be suffering from Writer's Cramp, a sort of mental Tennis Elbow.

Almost everybody could write a book; it's very easy to make a creditable start, but to bring it to completion is a huge mission. I've written six books now; the first three took five years each and the last, a trilogy, took ten. Don't make a start unless you are fully determined to bring it to completion.

Read my latest trilogy? Only 99c each. Hold onto your hat...


This is not about boasting; it's about the hard work and determination demanded of those who desire to produce a finished tome. You've been warned! You are about to embark on a mission akin to planning the next moon landing!

A lot more than fundamental writing skill is required; if you are giving serious thought of becoming a novelist then give these six Ds their full credit before you make a start; they will demand a pound of flesh!

Every Writers Six Ds

  1. Desire - you have a book that's bursting to be written, and there's nothing more that you want than to see it in print.
  2. Drive - to accomplish anything great in life takes something more than desire.
  3. Distractions - the telephone rings, a favourite TV programme calls, you have a sudden inexplicable need to mow the grass or start a sudoku; turn your back on them if you want to get that novel written.
  4. Determination - it takes some special quality to go all the way through writing the first edition, the tedious edits, the pain of rejection by publishers and the distribution of your book; this last is easier since the arrival of the Kindle.
  5. Discipline - six days a week shalt thou labour, no matter what your mood. Can you get up early and make three solid hours to write two thousand words?
  6. Dedication - that's what it takes to see you through to the end; a seven eighths finished book is a monumental waste of many hours sweat off the brow.

If you're not YET a focused author, but looking of inspiration, then enjoying chapter one, Jan Jansen, from my latest novel wouldn't be a distraction. Careful, this is a book that bites; you'll will want to find out what transpires, but there'll be much scratching of the pate!

Actually, serious authors should also make time to read a book a week; becoming a novelist is not for the faint hearted and indulgent. It's hard work, not a pastime; those are recreations and diversions according to our friend Mr Oxford.

Typing ergonomics

Every writer spends long hours at the computer. Good typing ergonomics and posture is vital if you want to spare yourself the serious distractions of repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder and neck pain; trust me, I'm a chiropractor.

These are conditions seen on a daily basis by every chiropractor; give serious thought to your computer station before you make a start.

One added thought concerns placing a small table under your elbow to take the strain off your neck and shoulder. Long hours of using the mouse is hard on the spine.

Every half an hour do our stiff neck exercises; you'll find them using the search this site function.

Every hour take a short break which shall include a brief walk, a cup of something refreshing and a pit stop.

Every day take an extended walk, notebook in hand, to contemplate the next scene; stop and jot down a few notes if something inspiring comes to mind. You may have lost it by the time you get back to your desk; trust me, it happens, with great annoyance.

I've been working at this page for over an hour. I'm a veggie man; a short walk to see what's potting in the garden is in order. I'll be be back with you shortly.

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It was a good short stroll; twenty points of water to empty from the rain gauge and some delight to see the jalapeno seeds are up. But the inspiration that came to mind was to leave you with one of the stories from my first book, A Frog in my Throat.

It all began as a series of short stories because folk so enjoyed my meanderings in the local rag; it was only much later that I began serious thoughts of becoming a novelist.

Yes, it really did take five years from start to finish. Here's one little bit of advice; get all the help you can from editors and readers, but maintain control of the final copy yourself.

My publisher gave that right to an editor who introduced so many errors. She couldn't spell Pooh Bear and she changed the word attitude of my glider to altitude.

It's the attitude, not the altitude that determines whether you are about to plummet to the earth. Read here about my epic hundred mile flight in a very old plywood glider, reaching a height of 14,000 feet. Baptiso to immerse.

A view to be enjoyed only by the very brave and foolish! Mm, I wonder if I should write a Every Pilot's Six Ds? Or, perhaps As. The first would be the importance of Attitude; if you are nose up then your glider is about to enter a deadly spin.

Keep control of the final edit!

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Bernard Preston books

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Consulting a chiropractor

Femoral nerve AP Xray

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Cooking green beans Bernard Preston passion

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Bread machine loaf by Bernard Preston

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green beans and granadillas Bernard Preston

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Bees workforce in Bernard Preston's garden

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Residential solar panels at Bernard Preston's home

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View from Bernard Preston's glider