In Thoughts on Writing

Last night I caught a portion of a program on NPT that was truly interesting (as opposed to all the well-intentioned but boring stuff that NPT typically airs).  A fellow was interviewing three successful crime fiction authors, among them one of my favorites – Elmore Leonard. Between the three, the authors represented millions of book sales, several huge movies and at least two successful TV shows. Since I write, and I also teach songwriting (which is actually closely related to creative prose and drama), I was hoping to hear some new inspirational nugget on the creative process, or a new idea on technique, or a revelatory secret to writing success.

Instead, all three authors said things I’ve heard and read (and taught) many times before. There are no great secrets, it seems. Writing is solitary and often difficult. If you want to succeed, work hard at it. Every day, if at all possible. Try to make your next book/story/song better than the one that preceded it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

“A writer writes,” one of them said, repeating the wisdom of the ages. So, if you wanna be a writer, get to writing something. The sooner the better.

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