These are things I knew but have been reminded of in 2009.
1. Writers write. They may talk about writing. Think about writing. Read books about writing. But at the end of the day if you aren't writing, you aren't a writer.
2. Ass in chair. No explanation necessary.
3. Every time you face the blank page, it is a leap of faith. And it is a brand new exercise.
4.If you keep writing, YOUR voice will eventually show up. And you will love that.
5.You know how people say "it isn't brain surgery?" It is brain surgery, every day. Some days it is a subdural hemotoma. Some days it's a lobotomy. Some days it's just relieving the pressure. But it is brain surgery where the surgeon is also the patient.
6. The hardest thing to do is to DO YOU--especially if the end game is being published. That voice that says, "the market wants sci-fi hookers on mars," or if it doesn't have a vampire it won't fly, or if you haven't lived on the streets or been locked in your crazy uncle's garage, you can't have a salable book, is loud and cranky and bitchy...and often hard to ignore. But in the end, DO YOU.
7. You, the writer is a different person from you the author. And the author can be a career killer for the writer if you believe the hype and wallow in the distractions.
When you lose your way, go back to the early days when you were writing, just hoping that one day you would get just one thing in print. Re-capture that joy, that fear, that passion.
8. And if you find that you really do hate it, do something else. This crap is too hard if you don't fall in love at some point in each project.