This has been my routine when entering a bookstore: I walk straight to the Biography section, linger there for less than an hour or two. I then amble along the Fiction Section and allow myself to be awed by Stephen King, Agatha Christie, John Grisham, and other authors whose books occupy big spaces in the shelves.
I think I know how these novelists do it. They respond to the calls of the muse and find words for ideas to take form. It seems easy—but it isn’t.
I’ve once read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and there, I learned of his beginnings, writing life, and routine. He writes 2000 words a day, which is roughly 4 pages. If he writes daily without a miss, that means he has 14,000 words a week. If the publisher requires him to write a 50,000-word novel then, if my math is right, he can be done with his first draft in a month.
I can imagine the toil they go through every writing time. Muse doesn’t visit writers daily, and words don’t always come out as pretty and right as they should be. But I can also imagine their joy.
I know a couple of fortunate people who’ve found their craft and create things for the sheer pleasure of it—painters, singers, film makers. They transcend what Jason Silva said, “Happiness lives in the space of novelty.” They’re the ones who produce a wild number of outputs that people can’t ignore. They are unhindered by criticism, corrections make them better, and any new knowledge is, for them, a treasure. And of course, they’re the ones who usually succeed.
I always consider myself as a beginner in this joy of creating. With the many hurdles I am yet to surpass, I feel I still have a long way to go! But the best step to take towards it is to start creating, for it seems that the joy is only found (and is heightened) in the venture. Just create—and never stop.
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