1 – Trust your words, but not so much they strangle you.
2 – Be open to chucking away bad stuff. Your pen is not infallible.
3 – Fiction need not be filled with lies. It is a sign of weak writing. Far better that the lies are true. Scribble your illusions with honesty.
4 – Refrain from taking your writing seriously after it is done.
5 – If you hear or read a word you don’t understand, immediately look it up in a dictionary. Collect them until you’re dead.
6 – Nihilism interferes with beauty. But better a nihilist with a manuscript than a nihilist with a submachine gun.
7 – Humour is not a sign of unintelligence in fiction, but a sign that it is alive.
8 – If you give in to the delusion that your characters are real people, they will start talking to you. Implant their ghost into your body. Think of what they would say, not what you as the writer would want them to say. Forget you exist.
9 – Like a useful paranoia, be suspicious of your own ideas. Use your neuroses to your advantage.
10 – The most important words are not the ones you have written but the ones you have erased. Remove all detritus, chisel the edges, and leave behind a sculpture.
11 – Boredom is a cage that people enter voluntarily. Never enter the cage.
12 – Resist wasting time. Become efficient so you may also be lazy. Nurture the creative soul.
13 – When the mind is loud, your pen should be likewise. This will stop you from shouting at people on the bus.
14 – Some things take days. Some things take years. Remain patient, like a tree.
15 – Treat your audience as a vague and amorphous blob, albeit a beautiful and busy one.
16 – If you hit a bulwark and no words are forthcoming, simply remind yourself of the no-big-deal-ness of your endeavour. Say it to yourself as you turn on the word processor or open the moleskin: It’s No Big Deal.
17 – Slam ideas together like particles in a super collider to mix things up. Don’t worry about making a black hole.
18 – Tell the story that only you could tell. Write the story you are afraid to write. Pen the words that will save you.
19 – The writer’s mind is a perpetually changing thing. Embrace this fact and cherish the new forms.
20 – Do not, under any circumstances, censor what you know is true.
21 – Entering someone else’s skull ( or ‘reading’) is a magical thing and stops the ego in its tracks. Get inside as many skulls as you can.
22 – The structure of a story is as important as the structure of your own body. Weave it right and the heart will beat.
23 – Do not be bitter of the lost muse. Stick around. The lost will be found again.