When it comes to thriller writers, Harlan Coben is definitely at the front of the pack. And to help promote his new YA book Shelter, he wrote a little piece for the Wall Street Journal on the three steps to becoming a great writer. Will they guarentee every writer success? No, of course not. Still, the man speaks truth (I especially love the second half):
You have to sit your butt in the chair and write. You have to do that every day. That doesn’t mean you lie on your couch and play with your navel. That doesn’t mean you go shopping when the words don’t flow the way you think they should. That never works. It means you sit your butt in the chair and get to work. No excuses. And just so we’re clear: Outlining is not writing. Coming up with ideas is not writing. Researching is not writing. Creating characters is not writing. Only writing is writing (yes, that’s deep). So cut it out with the writer’s block and the waiting for the muse to arrive and the artistic pretenses. That’s all nonsense.
(Amen thinks the guy who just updated his blog instead of doing actual writing.)