Charlie Laidlaw is an author and course tutor at Creating Writers.

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.” Erica Jong

In her case, the judgement was favourable.  She became the best-selling author of Fear of Flying.

But she has a point.  Most of us who want to write also hope our book will be a #1 bestseller.  Or, at the very least, that it will be favourably reviewed.

EL James probably felt the same when she wrote Fifty Shades of Grey, except that she had to self-publish.  There didn’t seem to be a market for mummy porn.

Then her book was picked up by a publisher and the rest is history.

My advice is that if you want to write a book, just get on with it.  Yes, take advice from friends and family.  Take advice from people you can trust to give an honest opinion.


It’s no use taking advice from someone who never reads.  Or from someone who will simply tell you how wonderful it is because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.

But, most of all, don’t be afraid of being judged.  If your dream is to write a book, write it.  You will have accomplished something that few people ever achieve.  That’s something to be proud of.

If that’s your dream, the chances are that you’ve decided on the genre.  Most of us write in the genre that we like to read.

The key to understanding that genre, whether it’s sci-fi or comedy or whatever, is to read everything you can.  Particularly by the successful authors that you especially like.

But also try to read other genres.  Reading widely helps to fix different styles in your head.

Michael Moorcock says: “I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to…start reading everything else.”

But don’t just let the words flow over you.  Read them forensically and study how the book is structured.


Think about how it moves from place to place, or backwards and forwards in time.  Study the nuances of plot and character and how the story is slowly revealed.

After all, as Stephen King, says: “if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

At Creating Writers we can give you the confidence and the tools to write your book.

We offer an introductory short course and a Diploma course, with a real diploma at the end of it. That alone might help you with your career.

It’s all online but with lots of face-to-face tuition and discussion.  You can also do them at your own pace.  We understand you may have other commitments.

Most writers have a fear of being judged.  Because most books are rejected by agents or publishers, and that can be hurtful.

But don’t let that fear get in the way of writing your book.  The world needs books to educate and entertain us.

The world therefore needs authors to write those books, and one of them could be you.

Questions?  Contact us here.

Photo by Ergita Sela on Unsplash