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Marian Keyes Gives Writing Advice

Marian Keyes And Handwritten Girl
Photo By Eamonn Murphy.

I was delighted to see one of my favourite authors of all time, Marian Keyes, at “Scribes On The Rock” part of the annual Féile an Phobail festival, a festival for lovers of music, arts and culture.

She read an extract from her new book ‘The Woman Who Stole My Life‘ which has been released in paperback and had the packed room in stitches. After that, a Q&A was opened to the room and Marian answered frankly and wittily about her own battle with depression, her love of giving old furniture a breath of fresh air and what Pascha from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was really like in real life.

But, for aspiring writers like myself she gave some motivational advice:

You don’t have to have a degree, you don’t have to have a creative writing course under your belt. If you feel that you want to write, then that’s all the qualifications that you need. I didn’t have anything, I didn’t have any confidence and I thought to myself who could be bothered with what I wrote, but I just thought that I’d like to do it and I thought that even if nobody reads it, I’ll enjoy doing it.

Another thing, don’t try to be and like anyone else, people can sense when you are not being authentic. Be yourself and don’t be afraid, don’t think that you have to use big words like, ostentatious and procrastination, because you don’t. Also with being Irish, we’re kinda already ahead of the game, we’re very good with words and we don’t realise it.

Basically if you want to write, make time to do it, your book won’t write itself and people don’t understand that, they think that books are magic things that somehow happen by themselves and they absolutely don’t. It’s very hard work and you have to decide, do I get up a hour earlier in the morning or do I miss out in my telly in the evening or maybe do I miss out on my Saturday at the shops? You have to give things up if you really want to do it and people hate me when I tell them that, but it’s the only way. It’s work, but it’s rewarding work. Try to do it at the same time every day because it trains your subconscious into getting used to writing. Even if you do nothing, put that hour aside and even if you just stare at the screen, at least you have respected the thing that you want to do and love.

Enjoy it, if you’re not enjoying it, nobody else will either. If you’re bored by it then stop it. If it makes you laugh, then you’re doing it right.

You can buy The Woman Who Stole My Life from Amazon and it is available to buy from good bookshops.

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