Into your literary cauldron, throw locally-grown talent (raw, fresh or seasoned in with the right dash of character traits and a generous dollop of opportunity, stir in a finely diced cast of characters or a paste of must-know, how-to. Cook over a carefully tended, dancing flame of desire until it’s “ready” and you’ve got a stew that may be the Brunswick or Irish Stew of books or…
“Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge
“The writer’s only responsibility is to his art.” ~ William Faulkner
3) PERSONAL EVOLUTION
“The truly wise know that what is behind them could just as easily be in front of them. What successful people possess in abundance is the ability not only to survive adversity but to be transformed by it.” ~ Jeff Herman
“Once I planned to write a poem entirely about the things in my pocket, but I found it would be too long and the age of epics is past.” ~ G. K. Chesterton
5) SHOWING UP
“Many writing books advise writers to figure out their most productive time of the day and to set out to write during that time or times. Experts also say to find the place you are most comfortable when writing and match time and place. Great. It does work for some. Not all.
“I do have a place where I write. It’s my local coffee shop. I write at different times during the day: morning, afternoon, evening. So, I do the conventional writing with time and place matched.
“But. Yes, there’s a ‘But.’ Many of my poems, and a short story recently, have been written in bed at two in the morning. I spring out of bed sometimes to write down an idea, or a rough draft of a poem or story. I keep a notepad with a pen resting on it near my bed. No coffee, no table, no laptop, and very little light.
“Some of the poems I’m most proud of have been written on the subway, in parks, in stairwells, and on my bed. No specific time, no specific place.
“Be flexible. Set your time and place, have no time and place, just write.
Show Up: read, re-read, write, re-write, submit, publish, and do it all over again.” ~ published by Blackcoffeepoet.com
6) PASSION & INNER ALCHEMY
“The fire of one’s art burns all the impurities from the vessel that contains it.” James Lee Burke
(Adapted from Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents: http://amzn.to/L1px0G)
Roger Harris, editor and consultant