Rea Thomas’s tips for writing!

ImageI was watching YouTube videos tonight – going from one vlogger to another, stunned at the insane numbers they had in terms of views and subscribers. I wondered, what makes these glamorous twenty-something girls so popular? Then it occurred to me that it was their knowledge that garnered them such popularity.

I would never have the courage to do a YouTube vlog myself, but I wondered if there was anything in the world I was knowledgeable enough to tell the world about. Then I had the ‘eureka’ moment! Writing! If there is anything in the world this twenty-something girl knows a little something about, it’s got to be writing. So I decided to give it a go. Here’s my tips!

Only write when you’re feeling inspired*:

So many people – myself included – have found themselves feeling pressured to write and guilty when they don’t. There is absolutely no point in writing if you are not ‘in the mood’. What you do write will be lackluster, and readers will pick up in it. Have you ever read a book and known the author just couldn’t be arsed? This usually happens with big-name authors who are under pressure from publishers and editors to get the newest blockbuster on the shelves. Don’t worry about Author X who can write a gazillion books a month. Everyone writes at different paces, and you must work at your own.

*Don’t use ‘uninspired’ as an excuse to be lazy:

ImageOn the same train of thought, this does not mean that you can decide not to write just because you’re feeling a little lazy – unless you want to write as a hobby, then be as lazy as you want. Should, however, you wish to write in a professional capacity, you have to treat it like any other job. This can be as simple as researching when you’re feeling uninspired, or searching for ways to promote yourself. Make notes about your characters, settings and ideas – doing this can often re-inspire you!

Write what you want:

People often start writing and then discover that their particular theme/genre isn’t ‘popular’. Don’t let anyone tell you what will or won’t make readers sit up and take notice. ‘Twilight’ author Stephanie Meyer did the research on publishing and discovered YA novels written in first person were a big no-no with publishing houses. Look at where she is now! Same with JK Rowling, who was rejected many times. No one knows what the next big-thing is going to be – if they did, it would be the current big thing – so write what you would want to read!

Kick your ego to the curb:

People are entitled to their opinion – and some will think your writing stinks. Some will be jealous of your success and will try to put you down and some will genuinely want to offer you advice on how to improve your craft. Let’s get one thing straight – you are not perfect. You will make mistakes, and getting defensive because someone points out those mistakes is not only unprofessional but undignified. Even now, I will gladly take all the advice and help I can get, because when you are passionate about something you are writing it’s very hard to be objective. Pay attention to what people are saying – you’ll be surprised how much you learn when your first response isn’t to send a rude reply. As the great Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said: “No matter what level you reach, getting better never stops.”

Join help groups/forums;

Not only does this help you make contacts with like-minded interests, it will get your name recognized. Starting a blog can also help in doing this. Unless you are picked up by a giant in the publishing world, you will have to do a lot of your own promotions. In the vast universe of cyberspace, you run the risk of becoming just another name in a million of others. To stand out, you need to make your presence known. There are so many websites out there decided to writing – from Figment to Authonomy – post your work everywhere, and as well as having people help you with catching spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, you can also develop a readership.

Keep your writing folders organized:

This is a big one for me. Keeping a document on your laptop/computer that is specifically for your writing is a good idea. Don’t save your stories all over the place. Take the time to save all files with a proper name (not ‘Untitled1, Untitled2, Untitled3) – if you name it, it already has life, and you’ll be less inclined to ditch it.

So… that’s just some of my tips, but perhaps the most important is don’t give up – because as long as you are writing, you are getting somewhere. If you love it, that’s all that matters.


Rea x


The Forbidden Fruit

The Forbidden Fruit...

The below posting is a little romantic musing I had one night while listening to a song. I enjoy writing about things spontaneously… just getting an idea and going with it, not really knowing where it will end up. I am quite a sensual person – smells and tastes evoke memories in me very easily and I try to incorporate that in the things I write. Normally when I write, I get a fragmented idea – some part in the middle or a really good ending, but in this case, the first line of the piece was literally the first line that came into my head. I liked the wordplay, so I went with it. Afterwards, I thought it could make a really good novel — but then I decided to go with my first instinct (my mother always says to trust my first instincts) and leave it as it is.  I hope you like it.

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The first bite of the forbidden fruit tasted like cherry.


I had often imagined that first, succulent kiss, in the long, sleepless hours between dusk and dawn.  I had thought coffee, perhaps – lingering on his tongue, laced with the sweet subtly of two sugars.  Or maybe mint, the peppery scent of which had sometimes fanned across my cheeks when he leaned too close.  Or, if the first, inevitable taste of the fruit came after a night of reckless abandon, possibly his kiss would be flavoured with the unique zest of aniseed, after three or four Sambuca shots.

As his lips touched mine, with the tentative delay of someone who was either wrestling with their conscience, or desperate to savour every measurable unit of time, I realised I had never guessed cherries.

I knew I would forever more associate the scent with him, and the illicit moment when we stood in the drizzly, January rain at three in the morning.  I would forever hear the reverberating thud of the nightclub music, pulsing along the street from the open doors.  I would feel the rhythm of techno music in my chest, beating in tandem with my reckless heart.

I would always be able to conjure the glint of conflict in his eyes, as he grappled with the insistent needle of doubt.  We two were not meant to be a grand romance, but a fleeting occurrence one semi-drunken night on a rain-slicked street.  Our moment was not meant for the observation deck of the Empire State Building, on beneath the epic shadow of the Eiffel Tower.  As his eyes searched mine, turbulent with desperation, I knew that he understood this – and that knowing we could never be anything more made the moment a necessity.

When he kissed me, our bodies were inches apart, so afraid were we that touching would break the spell – that months spent imagining this moment into reality would be for nothing, as the true repercussions shattered the delicate chemistry holding us together.  The sweet taste of cherries, then, made me kiss him deeper, to savour the essence on my tongue – to memorise it with the awareness that it would never happen again.

My knuckles hurt with the effort of clenching my fists, so that the urge to touch his prickly cheeks, or sink my fingers into the midnight strands of his hair, would not become victorious in the game my conscience was playing.  This man was not mine – not mine to kiss and definitely not mine to touch.  Despite the possession of our mouths, I reconciled my integrity by convincing myself that if I didn’t touch him, we had not trespassed into forbidden territory.

Then, when his fingers slid along the back of my neck, into the rain-soaked tendrils of my hair, the fraying cord of my restraint snapped under the weight of my yearning.  Our bodies crashed together – my arms around him, his around me, binding us in a cocoon with a rampant vortex of lust that was rapidly spinning out of control.

I wanted to believe it was the tequila coursing through my veins, mixed with a heady dose of adrenaline, but I knew it would not have mattered; sober or drunk, I would have grasped at this moment every single time.  In fact, it was a miracle that it had taken eight whole months to get here.  I had been in too deep the first moment he had made some innuendo, and looked at me with eyes that could see into the darkest, most forbidden part of my mind.  Eyes that could recognise the truth I had tried so hard to deny: that I wanted him more than I had wanted anyone or anything in all my life.

All too soon, the moment ended and I began to process every minute detail of the seconds just past.  I heightened every one of my senses, absorbing each with the precision of a forensic detective trawling a crime scene.

I knew I would miss nothing, and when I climbed into my bed, alone and cold from the rain, I would lie in the darkness and replay our kiss – over and over until exhaustion claimed me.

When I woke up, I would want him again and knowing he could never be mine would create a void – a deep, empty, bottomless vacuum of despair – and I would wish I could forget every detail I had tried so very hard to remember.