“When a man talks from his heart, in his moment of truth, he speaks poetry.”Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity is a must for anyone interested in writing and life.
You will enjoy writing if you know yourself:
“If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. It means you are so busy keeping one eye on the commercial market, or one ear peeled for the avant-garde coterie, that you are not being yourself. You don’t even know yourself.”
“What do you want more than anything else in the world? What do you love, or what do you hate?
Find a character, like yourself, who will want something or not want something, with all his heart. Give him running orders. Shoot him off. Then follow as fast as you can go. The character, in his great love, or hate, will rush you through to the end of the story. The zest and gusto of his need, and there is zest in hate as well as in love, will fire the landscape and raise the temperature of your typewriter thirty degrees.”
Are you hungry about Life?
“It is my contention that in order to keep a Muse, you must first offer food.
What is The Subconscious to every other man, in its creative aspect becomes, for writers, The Muse.”
The great secret of creativity:
“You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you. If yout ry to approach a cat and pick it up, hell, it won’t let you do it. You’ve got to say, ‘Well, to hell with you.’ And the cat says, ‘Wait a minute. He’s not behaving the way most humans do.’ Then the cat follows you out of curiosity: ‘Well, what’s wrong with you that you don’t love me?’”
Work. Relaxation. Don’t think.
“WORK. It is, above all, the word about which your career will revolve for a lifetime. Beginning now you should become not its slave, which is too mean a term, but its partner. Once you are really a co-sharer of existence with your work, that word will lose its repellent aspects.
An work itself, after awhile, takes on a rhythm. The mechanical begins to fall away. The body begins to take over. The guard goes down. What happens then?
And then the men are happily following my last advice:
If you are still hungry, read his interview here.