I’m delighted to be involved with Dare to Write?, an online platform for writers. It was created by a professor at Bath Spa University in collaboration with Paper Nations UK, and is supported by the Arts Council of England.
Developed with the the help of hundreds of authors, it invites young people to begin a journey of writing. The programme revolves around a series of eight prompts – and you can explore them all here.
A few authors have written responses to these prompts, and they’re stored on the Dare to Write library. Here’s my response to the challenge Just Write!
In my response, I encourage young people to just write, without worrying about what others will think of their story. In other words, expect the first draft to be ordinary. Writing is meant to be fun, and aiming for perfection right from the start is what causes most aspiring writers to stall, backtrack, and eventually give up. Let the words flow without fear – and then go back and improve it later, once you’ve actually got something that you can work with.
This is something that even professional authors sometimes need to be reminded of – including myself! Writing can be daunting, but focusing on enjoyment rather than worrying about people’s reactions can be all it takes to make those words start to flow.