I watched the film Enid with my husband this week and learnt many things about writing in the process.
Not only is Enid Blyton one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors, she was also one of the most prolific, writing around 800 books during her career at the rate of 6000 words a day.
Although the film shows her as a crotchety woman without maternal leanings towards her daughters, I still picked up some tips on writing from her.
1. Write every day – even if you have nothing to say, if you want to write make a commitment to do it daily. It might not be writing an article or a manuscript, but you could journal or write a series of blog or social media posts.
2. Write what you know – although many of Enid Blyton’s stories were fantasy, they were based on characters and scenes she knew from her life. Whether writing for business or pleasure, writing from your knowledge base or surroundings makes the process that much easier.
3. Don’t give up – it’s a story aspiring authors have heard many times, but if you’re committed to what you do, keep plugging away at it. Many publishers rejected Enid Blyton before being offered a contract. The difference between her and many other writers was that she kept pitching herself until she succeeded.
4. Keep in touch with your audience – Enid Blyton received bags and bags of letters from her fans and replied personally to many of them through letters written herself. She also publicly read from her books and invited her young fans to parties at her home. While opening your home may be a bit too personal, the idea rings true. If you stay connected with your audience, you will write what interests them – and you may even get some extra ideas.
5. Controversy adds an extra dimension – instead of allowing the rumours around not writing all the books herself affect her career, Enid Blyton chose to use the accusation in her favour and kept writing prolifically. When obstacles are presented it can spell the end of a business or career – only if you choose it to. Fighting for what you want can actually make you more desirable in the eyes of your audience. We all love an underdog!