I couldn't write for a month after reading Stephen King's On Writing - he made his way sound so simple, so alluring that I tried to emulate it and couldn't, and felt like a failure. That was years ago, and I'm sure there were other things going on rather than me just being halted by King.
But similarly, I was aghast last year when I read that Kate Mosse gets up at 4am to write. You get a lot of that - writers getting up really early to write - for a while I thought that was the only way to do it.
But there is only your own way - as long as you're doing it.
This week I've been influenced, in a good way, by Susan Hill. I've never read any of her work, but she's been interviewed in various magazines and newspapers lately and I think I may have fallen in love with her.
She's direct, confident, assured, and prolific. Totally grounded. Really refreshing.
From her Mslexia interview:
"Who says you have to start writing first thing in the morning? ... Who makes these rules? This sort of thing makes people anxious about their writing before they've even started."
And from The Observer:
It seems redundant to ask if she enjoys writing. "Oh, God, yes!" she exclaims. "I can't stand those writers who make a fuss. I mean, you don't have to do it. I just can't understand this 'it's all so difficult' business. Yes, I love it, and I can't be bothered with 'it's such agony'. That is so pretentious."
Yeah. I love her.
You can read the full Mslexia interview here
and the Observer one here.