The act of writing bears something in common with the act of love. The writer, at his most productive moments, just flows. He gives of that which is uniquely himself. He makes himself naked, recording his nakedness in the written word. Herein lies some of the terror which frequently freezes a writer, preventing him from producing. Herein, too, lies some of the courage that must be entailed in letting others learn how one has experienced or is experiencing the world.
Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they choose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done. The writer's only responsibility is to his art.
Well, I wanted to be a philosopher, which is the idlest occupation in the world. I wanted to be involved in abstract thought, but because of various problems with the authorities I wasn't able to pull that one off. A lifetime of idleness in academia would have really suited me. So I was thrown out, as it were. Other than that, there seemed no possible idle occupations, so writing . . . although writing isn't exactly idleness. There's an enormous tension between indolence and languor.
Advice? I don't have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you're writing, you're a writer. Write like you're a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there's no chance for a pardon. Write like you're clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you've got just one last thing to say, like you're a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God's sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we're not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don't. Who knows, maybe you're one of the lucky ones who doesn't have to.
We commonly think of freedom as the ability to define alternatives and choose between them. The creative mind exceeds this liberty in being able to redefine itself and reality at large, generating whole new sets of alternatives.
Source: The Grace of Great Things: Creativity and Innovation, Pages: 7