Does your writing give you shivers?

You may be familiar with Tim Minchin, an Australian comedian, actor, composer and performer. In 2009, he was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to write the music and lyrics for a stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

Matilda has gone on to become one of the most critically and popularly successful musicals of the last 20 years, winning more than 50 international awards including a record seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards.

In an interview about his writing process for Matilda, Minchin said:

“If you write something that gives you shivers, then it will always give the audience shivers. That is always true, because shivers don’t lie.”

This week’s tip is to write about what moves you; what makes you uncomfortable or upset; joyous or overwhelmed; stirred and excited. Of course I’m not advocating for sappy emotionalism—the best writers are able to harness their emotions and craft words to express evocative ideas.

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