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Virginia Woolf’s golden rules for writing can be easily applied to modern life


One of the most talented writers of the 20th century, last Sunday marked Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Born on January 25, 1882 in Kensington, London, Woolf became a foremost member of the bohemian Bloomsbury Group and in the 1920s penned acclaimed novels To The Lighthouse and Orlando.

She’s perhaps most well-known for A Room of One’s Own, a formative feminist essay which stated that women need to be financially stable and to be given their own space in order to create.

Still a cultural force to be reckoned with, of late she’s inspired the music of Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch as well as Woolf Works, a brand new ballet set to debut at the Royal Opera House this May.

To celebrate her birth, Jessica Millis – a freelance writer who also works at James Madison University in Virginia - created an educative infographic to get you writing, taking 10 tips from Woolf and applying them to the modern day. Check out the infographic in full below and to read more about our favourite bits of Woolf-endorsed advice.

Create With Friends

So you might not have the same glamorous digs as the Bloomsbury Group, but you don’t necessarily need a velvet-draped parlour in which to get your mates together and try your ideas out on each other. Having friends to encourage you, bounce ideas off and even collaborate with is extremely important, especially if you have problems with motivating yourself. Dedicate one evening a week to talking through your writing projects with friends, and if they’re good enough to give you feedback, don’t ignore it!

Get Out Of The House

Staring at the same four walls doesn’t half hamper your creativity. Mix up your working spaces for a fresh spin. Take your laptop to that new artisan coffee shop or find a cosy pub with a decent wi-fi connection – but go easy on the Aperol Spritzes unless you want your work to take a turn for the Hunter S Thompson. Leaving the house and working in a new space is also perfect for people watching, something that could prove invaluable when it comes to character inspiration, especially if you’re working on a novel or a screenplay.

Keep A Diary

Virginia Woolf was an avid diary keeper, writing hers for 26 years. If you don’t quite have Adrian Mole-ish tendencies, then there are plenty of other ways to keep yourself writing on a daily basis. Regular Tweeting might seem like a diversionary tactic, but it’s a great way to hone your skills as a writer, as you have to work to a set length and there’s also the added pressure that everyone can read your work – from publishers, to friends and – hopefully - fans.

Take a look at Virginia Woolfe's top 10 tips for writing below:




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