I needed to hear a lot of these, especially the lunch one.
Deborah Moggach’s rules for writing.
1. Don’t go out to lunch.
2. Don’t go online until lunch.
3. Don’t start writing your novel until you know your characters very, very well. What they’d do if they saw somebody shoplifting. What they were like at school. What shoes they wear. Spend days – weeks, months – being them until they thicken up and start to breathe. VS Pritchett said, “There’s no such thing as plot, only characters.” Once you know them well they’ll lead you into their stories. If you start too soon you won’t have a clue what they’re going to do and all is chaos.
4. However hopeless and inadequate you feel, leave that self behind. Psych yourself up until you’re confident that the world will be interested in what happens to your characters. Confidence is key.
5. Don’t “write”. “Writing” is about showing off, or imitating other writers. “Writing” mistakes solemnity for seriousness. Just write. Have courage, be truthful, be true to your characters.