You’ve always wanted to write a book and 2019 is the year you’re going to do it. The only problem is you have no idea how to get started, let alone finish. Here at United Ghostwriters, we know exactly what you are going through, which is why we have compiled our best writing tips to share with you. Read them, absorb them, even print them out and put them on your wall. They haven’t failed us yet.

1. Read, read, and read some more. You can’t improve as a writer without reading. Set up a cosy place to enjoy what others have achieved.

2. If you’re stuck, take a walk. Yes, the hard graft happens at the desk but the inspiration often comes from a change of location.

3. Read what you’ve written aloud. If you’re ghosting, try to imitate your author’s voice and speech patterns.

4. Deadlines are your friend. Focusing on a delivery date keeps you and your writing energised.

5. Choose your best times to write. If you have more energy in the afternoon or mornings, then tailor the bulk of writing to one of those times.

6. Read aloud. When you’re editing your own work, print it out and read it out loud. Remember: when you stumble your readers will too.

7. Don’t agonise about where and how to start, just write. You can go back and adjust the beginning later.

8. Before submitting anything, wait overnight and then read it through with a fresh eye. It’s the best way to see it more objectively and to spot mistakes.

9. Don’t be too precious about ‘getting it right’. Writing is about getting it down on paper and then reviewing it rigorously but fairly.

10. Be your own best critic. When you’re reviewing your work, ask yourself if this is the bit you’d skip if you were a reader. If so, edit or delete.

11. Write without ego. Be generous, enthusiastic, fair and productive. Love your subject but, even if you’re writing about your own life, don’t make it all about you.

12. Beware of clichés. They’re easy to slip into but your readers will gloss over them. Avoid them like the plague (see what we did there).

13.  Be your own coach. When the going gets tough, say ‘this is actually really easy. I can do this!’ out loud ( weirdly it works).

Emma Murray is a best-selling, award-winning author and ghostwriter, specialising in business, psychology and higher education. She also ghosts blogs, articles, case studies, and book proposals.