Faber Session 11 – Guest Tutor Jill Dawson

I’ve had a real hectic few days so I am behind with blog reading….I will catch up today I promise, so bear with me. 🙂

It was bloody freezing yesterday morning as I made my way to central London at 8am. I don’t normally have breakfast, but yesterday, I was desperate 😉


Today our guest tutor was Jill Dawson who’s book, Lucky Bunny I’m reading at the moment (and really enjoying!).

We all agreed that Jill’s passion and enthusiasm for writing was infectious and inspiring. A thoroughly enjoyable session where I made lots of notes (you know me! Lol). Here’s a few snippets that I wrote down that I found interesting and helpful 🙂

The best way to be motivated to write is to be in love with it!

How to deal with rejection: Don’t dwell on it, it will infect your writing and the feeling of failure will go into your work.

Have a monthly goal (word count) rather than a daily or weekly one. Make your goals manageable.

Time your ideal writing session then duplicate it. Find what works for you.

Jeanette Winterson told Jill that her first novel was crap, she’s grateful for that now. Peter Carey had written 4 or 5 novels before his first that was published. Jill beleives that ALL writers have at least written 1 book that will never be published. The book you’re working on now may not be THE ONE, it might be your training ground.

Jill keeps a journal while shes writing a novel, where she reflects on how she feels and works out problems.

Learn to tolerate chaos. Get the writing done first then worry about the other things you have to do in your life!

Ask yourself when you read through your first draft – Is it alive? (Something interesting or exciting) or Is it dead? (Something boring or flat).

And finally, my favourite (and also that of my tutors!)

“Know the rules but have none.”

I made 8 pages of notes! Lol….I just couldn’t help it, she was brilliant! 🙂

I love this whole idea of keeping a writing journal! Jill says it helps her work out her own processes and is like talking to herself. I’m a huge fan of journal keeping, but I’ve never tried using it just for my novel writing. Have you ever used a journal to work out problems with your writing? I’d be interested to hear if anyone has. I think I might just give it a go 😉