Writing about writing:
An interview with John Scalzi, especially:
TH: What are some of the things that inspire you?
JS: I think the usual: paying my mortgage and other bills, buying groceries, people who I want to impress in some way for whatever reason. “Inspiration” as such doesn’t enter too much into the equation with my writing other than in the mundane senses such as the above, or in the sense of developing a cool writing idea. If I waited around to be inspired to write, I would end up having to do something else with my work life, because only writing under the influence of inspiration doesn’t typically bring in sufficient income.
TH: What about the writing process most appeals to you?
JS: Playing with words and ideas; I do a lot of plotting while writing, so that’s always fun. I also like the actual physical act of typing. It’s fun to see my brain work through my fingers that way.
Plus an article by Elizabeth Bear:
The big secret is this: learning is about failing. It’s about trying very, very hard to do something that’s a little bit harder than you can pull off, and then not pulling it off, and then trying again and again until you complete it–no matter how awkwardly. And it’s also about attempting harder and harder things, so that you’re always working on something that’s just a little beyond the edge of your ability. Because you don’t get better if you stay within your ability. Hundreds of basketball coaches and drill sergeants can’t be wrong: you have to push yourself.