Zen in the Art of Writing
- Write blog posts to express special discoveries.
- Science fiction writers dream and the dream becomes fact.
- Science fiction turns into scientific fact.
- Everywhere we look: problems. Everywhere we further deeply look: solutions. How can you not be fascinated with these challenges?
- Self-consciousness is the enemy of all arts.
- ‘All I need is an hour and I’m ahead of everyone.’
If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy, or both.
I have come up with a new simile to describe myself lately. It can be yours. Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
All of this is primarily directed to the writer who has already learned his trade; that is, has put into himself enough grammatical tools and literary knowledge so he won’t trip himself up when he wants to run.
I have not so much thought my way through life as done things and found what it was and who I was after the doing.
The children sensed, if they could not speak, that the entire history of mankind is problem solving, or science fiction swallowing ideas, digesting them, and excreting formulas for survival.
So, it seems, we are all science-fictional children dreaming ourselves into new ways of survival.
Everywhere we look: problems. Everywhere we further deeply look: solutions. The children of men, the children of time, how can they not be fascinated with these challenges?
Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.
I’m accustomed, you see, to getting up every morning, running to the typewriter, and in an hour I’ve created a world. I don’t have to wait for anyone. I don’t have to criticize anyone. It’s done. All I need is an hour, and I’m ahead of everyone. The rest of the day I can goof off. I’ve already done a thousand words this morning; so if I want to have a two or three-hour lunch, I can have it, because I’ve already beat everyone.
As soon as things get difficult, I walk away. That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you. If you try 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?’ Well, that’s what an idea is. See? You just say, ‘Well, hell, I don’t need depression. I don’t need worry. I don’t need to push.’ The ideas will follow me. When they’re off-guard, and ready to be born, I’ll turn around and grab them.
Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.