[irevuo] The Inspiration Myth

Kurt Vonnegut would wake up at 5:30 a.m. work until 8 a.m., eat breakfast, and then work a couple more hours.

J.M. Coetzee, the 2003 Nobel Prize Laureate, supposedly spends at least one hour at his desk, every morning, without fail.

Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4 a.m. and writes for 5 or so hours. Every single day.

Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers of the past century, would work each night from 11 p.m. until early in the morning.

Maya Angelou used to write every morning from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

One of the most prevalent myths is that to do creative work, one must feel inspired. It’s not true.

We can always work, whether we feel inspired or not.

It’s all about developing a routine.

[irevuo] How to Fall in and Out of Love With Your Muse

You will want to create something of your own. You will want to do what you can, with whatever’s at your disposal at that moment. Right there, right then. If you have to write your story on a piece of napkin, so be it. If you have to sketch on your phone, fine.

When you find your muse, you will feel yourself becoming addicted to the promise of doing work you hope could last forever.

[irevuo] Imitation: The Gateway to Inspiration

In 1650, Spanish painter Diego Velázquez was commissioned by Pope Innocent X to paint a portrait of his.

Three centuries later, another artist would attempt to recreate it. Despite never having seen this painting in person, the Irish artist Francis Bacon would repaint it, over and over again, completing a total of 50 paintings during the 1950s and 1960s.

[irevuo] Book Marketing Timeline

Marketing a book is often a time and energy consuming process that has to take into account two aspects:

  1. Telling a story that persuades potential readers that they need your book, while also seducing them that they want it.
  2. Developing a proper plan of action that helps you build anticipation, drive word of mouth, and effectively distribute your book.

As long as you keep these two aspects in mind, you can design your own timeline, that takes into consideration…

[irevuo] You’ve Got to Sell Your Heart

In 1938, aspiring author Frances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

The reply she received from the author of The Great Gatsby contained the following piece of advice:

“You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.”

[irevuo] Writing Is Not Hocus Pocus

A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner.” —  Seth Godin

George R.R. Martin is the best-selling author of the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

To this day, his epic saga has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide, and it was turned into a record-breaking television series by HBO.

But unlike the worlds he imagines into existence, his writing habit is by no means magic…