99% Perspiration, 1% Inspiration

99% Perspiration, 1% Inspiration

After too many years dabbling in writing, a few universal truths about the subject have now become obvious to me. The most important of these is that the production of a novel or book is hard work. Dedication to the craft of writing is always required.

99% perspiration, 1% inspiration

Writing is often a lonely existence. The characters in your work should become almost real to you. You will probably be spending more time with them than with most of your “real life” friends. It helps if you like them and can even have a laugh while writing at times. You must have an interest in their lives and a commitment to writing their story in a way that does them justice.

Most writers, when starting out, have “a day job” that pays the bills, so discipline is needed when approaching writing. The other commitments in your life may mean that you have what appears to be very little time to spend writing. Start a diary today and keep a note of how you spend every hour. You will be surprised at how much time is squandered doing things that you value far less than writing.

Most professional writers say that they schedule their lives and their writing in the same way that any “nine-to-fiver” would. They may not actually write for eight hours a day but that space is there; on the other hand neither do they seem to acknowledge evenings, weekends, bank-holidays. In this way they are like any expert who, in striving to reach (and remain at) the top of their field, practices every day.

Martin Baldwin