Canada Reads·Canada Reads 2018

Want to become a better writer? Sharon Bala says you should write every day

The Canada Reads-shortlisted author of The Boat People shares her top writing advice.
Sharon Bala's novel The Boat People will be defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah. (CBC)

Sharon Bala's debut novel The Boat People  tells the story of a Sri Lankan father and his son struggling to obtain legal status in Canada after they arrive by boat from Sri Lanka as refugees. Mozhdah Jamalzadah defended the novel on Canada Reads 2018.

CBC Books asked Bala for her best writing tip.

"Write every day. I think many of us who are writers started when we were young and it was a source of great joy. We didn't give too much thought to what it was going to be in the end. Then I went to university and I thought I had to do something in school that was going to get me a job. So I stopped writing all through my 20s. I came back to it in my early 30s and I wish I hadn't stopped. My advice would be don't stop writing, even if it's not your career and you need to do something else to make ends meet. Write all the time, even if you're not writing stories."

Sharon Bala's comments have been edited and condensed