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If you’re a writer with an unusually generous bent, it’s great to hear about those writers who can just hurl the stuff out, like Ray Bradbury tossing off Fahrenheit 451 in just nine days on a rented typewriter. But the rest of us have to work at it, and it’s hard then to be generous of mind when you’re on your fifth day in a row of absolutely nothing.

waltermosley1Still, that doesn’t mean there’s any way around it. As Walter Mosley said, writing is an everyday avocation. That’s particularly true if you’re trying to get that novel done:

This is the first important lesson that the writer must learn. Writing a novel is gathering smoke. It’s an excursion into the ether of ideas. There’s no time to waste. You must work with that idea as well as you can, jotting down notes and dialogue.

The first day the dream you gathered will linger, but it won’t last long. The next day you have to return to tend to your flimsy vapors. You have to brush them, reshape them, breathe into them and gather more.

It doesn’t matter what time of day you work, but you have to work every day because creation, like life, is always slipping away from you. You must write every day, but there’s no time limit on how long you have to write…

And try to remember, it was probably hard even for Bradbury at times.

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