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Last Updated: Friday September 12 2008 12:59 GMT

Michael Morpurgo's tips on how to write

Michael Morpurgo

If you want to be a writer when you're older but are having trouble getting your ideas on paper you're in luck.

That's because we've got author Michael Morpurgo to explain some of his best tips for making it to the top.

If you're planning on getting rich or famous, don't become a writer. There's only going to be one JK Rowling.

You have to write because you love to do it. To get to love to do it, you mustn't think that you can't do it.

If you want to write, you need to live an interesting life. Go out and talk to people and go to places. All the while keep your eyes, ears and heart open.

To be a writer you need to drink in the world around you so it's there in your head.

Read, read and then read some more

Then you need to read a lot. Read other people's books, books you think you might not like, the backs of cereal packets. Read, read, read so your head is filled with words and ideas.

Don't try to write the next Harry Potter book, because you won't be able to.

Instead try to write a couple of lines every day of your life, about the most important thing that's happened to you that day. It could be the happiest thing, or the saddest thing or even something you overheard.

Write it down so you don't forget it, but more importantly because it helps you get used to writing.

Getting used to it is what makes it natural, and helps you find your voice, and your way of telling stories.

Michael Morpurgo
We're all good at telling stories because we're used to speaking and it's natural.

But when we have to write things down we start worrying about spelling, punctuation and neatness and it's difficult and creates a sort of block inside you.

If you write every single day it exercises those muscles, not just your fingers, but your imagination too and your ability to express exactly what it is that you want to say on paper.

It should become so natural that you think "Yeah, I'm going to write a story" and down it goes.