I read a quote this week from a Neil Gaiman story, The Goldfish Bowl and other stories.
‘People talk about books that write themselves, and it’s a lie. Books don’t write themselves. It takes thought and research and backache and notes and more time and more work than you’d believe’.
I love Neil Gaiman, and I agree totally what that. I’ve often found that people assume writing is merely lying on the sofa in a velvet dressing gown, occasionally writing down a pithy sentence, and getting paid a fortune for it. This is not true (often).
I also love reading what other authors say about writing. Half the time I find myself saying ‘really? It’s not like that for me. Am I doing wrong?’ and the other half I say ‘yes, yes, yes! That’s exactly how it is! Finally someone’s put it into words!’
But whether you agree or disagree, one thing you realise is that they understand, and no-one else does. It’s always worth reading what other authors have to say about writing, or just talking to other authors. It’s wonderful to talk to someone who actually knows where you get your ideas from already, and wants to talk about typing and wrist ache and re-writing and research and characters names.
Writing is the ultimate solitary profession. But we should all connect, once in a while, even if only on the written page.