Every Writer's Six Ds

Every Writer's Six Ds has a few thoughts for those who are stuck.

I love the apostrophe, and think it is vitally important but the internet spider that scans our sites takes an instinctive dislike to the poor little fellow. So, to be grammatically correct, every writer's six Ds.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 18th June, 2023.

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 pen a book; it is very easy to make a creditable start, but to bring it to completion is a huge mission. I have written six now; the first three took five years each and the last, a trilogy, nearly ten. Don't plan to scribble unless you are fully determined to bring it to completion.

Frog in my Throat cover.
Cover of Bats in my Belfry.
Stones in my Clog.

Read my latest trilogy? Only $1.14 each. Hold onto your hat. Find A Family Affair by Bernard Preston at Amazon.

This is not about boasting; it's about the hard work and determination demanded of those who desire to produce a finished tome. You have 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 your flesh!

Every Writers Six Ds

  1. Desire - you have a book that is 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 or you have a sudden inexplicable need to mow the grass; 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 and the fear of a painful rejection by publishers; and the distribution of your book though this last may be 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 of 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 would not be a distraction. Careful, this is a book that bites; you will want to find out what transpires, but there will 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; that's a recreation or diversion according to our friend Mr Oxford.

My favourite novel in the last few months is "The Dictionary of Lost Words." It's been rated as the best first novel of 2020, and certainly a great read.

Typing ergonomics


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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 a repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome or neck pain; trust me, I'm a DC of more than forty years experience.

These are conditions seen on a daily basis by every DC. Give serious thought to your computer station before you make a start eyes level with the top of the screen.

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 points 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 have been working at this page for over an hour. I am a gardener; a short walk to see what's potting in the backyard is in order. I will be be back with you shortly for more about every writer's six D's. 


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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 a glider is 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.

Harrismith from the air.

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!

If you read just one-book a month, you will probably fall short of a thousand in your whole life, and most likely nearer 500. Enjoying a good yarn is like having a private conversation with the author.

If you are benefiting from these pages, then perhaps I can invite you to a journey through the polders of Holland. That is how you can support this site, and enrich your own life with some easy bedside reading and stepping up to greater well-being.

My books are available from Amazon on Kindle.

Quiche Bernie

Quiche Bernie

Once you have completed those 2000 words, remembering every writer's six Ds, then it is time to take a creative break.

If you like cooking, then just fifteen minutes of fun in the kitchen to prepare quiche Bernie for lunch; whilst it is baking toss up Helen's 15 euro salad.

  1. The Dictionary of Lost Words

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