Written by Matt Gartland = Winning Edits
Heralded by many as one of the great writers in modern culture, Gaiman has much to teach us about the attitudes and actions that fuel good writing. It just so happens I recently discovered some of his finest wisdom on the subject, albeit via an unconventional source: The Nerdist Podcast.
The Nerdist Podcast isn’t likely your go-to source for phenomenal writing advice. More like, you listen to The Nerdist Podcast if you enjoy highly witty, often random conversations with talented creatives that near always include crude humor and language (it is a comedy show after all).
Humor aside, the podcasts are gems for usable creative inspiration and intelligence, as the episode featuring Gaiman showcases.
“Do you write everyday? Or do you write just when you’re inspired?”
These questions from co-host Chris Hardwick target the perpetual debate about the source of good writing. Gaiman’s response may surprise you:
If you only write when you’re inspired you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist because you’re going to have to make your word count today and those words aren’t going to wait for you whether you’re inspired or not.As I wrote in this month’s Winning Edits Dispatch, novelists certainly should heed this wisdom. But I think it’s portable to all forms of writing today, including serialized fiction, longform journalism, and blog articles.
You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next.
The process of writing can be magical. … Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.
Odds are good that you’re a writer in pursuit of a great body of work. Whether that manifests as a singular novel or not, the rhythm of “one word after another” is universal and paramount.
Full piece at Winning Edits.