Some writers are great, some are contemplative, and some have advice that is actually decent and applicable. This is from an essay by Carolyn Gregoire:
I know it sounds crazy, but many authors discovered their voice by copying writer’s they admired.
Hunter S. Thompson was known to transcribe Ernest Hemingway’s novels in full, just to absorb the words — he typed out The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms in the hopes of absorbing as much wisdom as possible from his literary idol.
Write from your own truth.
In an interview with The Paris Review, Gabriel García Márquez advised young writers, based on his own experience, to write what they know.
“If I had to give a young writer some advice I would say to write about something that has happened to him; it’s always easy to tell whether a writer is writing about something that has happened to him or something he has read or been told,” García Márquez said. “It always amuses me that the biggest praise for my work comes for the imagination, while the truth is that there’s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The problem is that Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination.”
Creative inspiration just needs to be consistent
Gertrude Stein once said of the writing process, “It will come if it is there and if you will let it come.”
But for the writing to come, you may have to nudge it along by finding a consistent source of inspiration. Stein says her best ideas came to her while she was driving around in her car looking at cows. She would write for only 30 minutes a day, driving around a farm and stopping at different cows until she found the one that most fit her mood.
Barring cows (what if you live in the city?) Follow the advice of many, including me, show up to work the same time every day – even for ten minutes. If the muse knows you will be there, she is more likely to stop by.
What do you Really Want out of This?
Do you want to write or do you want to have written? Do you just want the writers life because it sounds so romantic and doesn’t involve a commute?
Margaret Atwood wrote in The Guardian:
“You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.”
And while you bite your lips to keep from blurting out: “but this is hard!” Take solace in the words of Stephen King:
“Read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
But if you love the work, the lack of short cut, kudos and perfect writing desk won’t matter at all.