Faith Bleasdale grew up in North Devon, studied at The University of Bristol, before moving to London and beginning a series of jobs from Sales to the City. After publishing her first book, ‘Rubber Gloves or Jimmy Choos?’ she followed with Pinstripes, Peep Show, Deranged Marriage, Agent Provocateur and The Love Resort. In 2013 she wrote and published her first non-fiction book, Happily Ever After, which charts the pregnancy and first year of her son’s life. The book looks at the issues Faith faced as a single mother as well as how she came to terms with having a baby who was diagnosed at two months old with Down’s Syndrome. Here are her top writing tips.
Faith’s top 5 writing tips
- Find what works for you. I took a long time to work this out. A friend told me she wrote every day for a certain amount of hours. I tried this but it didn’t work for me. Another told me she set herself a deadline of words but I got upset when sometimes I exceeded my own deadline, and others fell short. So, I write the way it suits me, which is haphazard, and inconsistent and often governed by the weather (I live in Singapore). But for me this works and therefore my first tip is not to think there is a right way to work.
- If you’re not getting anywhere, go somewhere. OK, so I have writer’s block and I sit at my desk getting more and more frustrated and the more frustrated I get the less I can think and in the end, it’s just a question of me stressing myself out. When you encounter blocks, leave your desk. Either take a walk, go shopping, sometimes all you need to do is have a cup of coffee or tea. But allow yourself time to breathe and don’t beat yourself up. You’ll be far more productive that way.
- Give yourself the perfect place. I have a study and in it I’ve surrounded myself with things I like, pictures, ornaments – it’s cluttered but only with things I consider necessary. On the other hand, I find that if I’m surrounded by paper, I’m often unable to work. Your writing environment is important, make it a place that you love to be.
- Enjoy it. It sounds silly but I was so tense and stressed about my writing for a long time I forgot that I was doing something I loved. I had to re-focus on that fact and now when I’m writing, even if I’m up against deadline or getting tangled in my story, I remember how lucky I am to be writing and I enjoy what I do.
- Really know your characters. This is something I’ve always found important – even if your character is unlikeable know him/her in order to ensure that they’re believable. I think of my characters as real (I know I probably should be committed) and I find that they develop almost on their own that way. Their actions come naturally and when I’ve finished my novel, I always really miss them!
For more information on Faith Bleasdale visit her website at www.faithbleasdale.com or read her blog about her relationship with her son http://winninghandsdown.co.uk/