I’m currently reading Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. Interesting stuff. The copyright date is 1965, and now that I’ve read several of the more popular writing books published since then, I think I know now that this is the book a lot of those subsequent authors were pilfering ideas from.
Oddly, I’d never heard of this book until recently. But at about 50 pages in, it sure looks like the mother lode for someone who’d like to write salable work—that is to say, write something that a non-relative would want to read.
I’m learning why it’s so hard for me to find time to write, too. Swain says:
The greatest talent in writing is nerve: You bet your ego that your unconscious has something in it beside dinner.
If there’s anything I lack, it’s nerve. He also says about planning and preparation:
Everyone has a God-given right to go to hell in his own way.
I think he’s getting ready to explain why writing involves a lot more than just cranking out pages of copy. But that comes much later in the book.
Anyway, maybe this book will help overcome my doubts and put me on a better track.