Writers work to create something out of thin air.
I feel like this applies more to fiction, than it does to nonfiction though.
Nonfiction is typically more systematically done.
I mean, you don’t start from zero.
You start with an idea that becomes an outline and slowly research is done so the holes can be filled in.
On nonfiction, Ryan Holiday has a fantastic post on how to write a book.
Fiction writing is a little bit more like jazz though.
Some fiction writers are structured, sure, but many start with only a theme and simply make it up as they go along.
Crazy how writers conjure new worlds out of a blank page.
And all they needed was a room and a little money.
Wewriters spend our days making something out of nothing. There is the blank page (or screen) and then there is the fraught and magical process of putting words down on that page. There is no shape, no blueprint until one emerges from the page, as if through a mist. Is it a mirage? Is it real? We can’t know. And so we need a sense of structure around us. These four walls. This cup. The wheels of the train beneath us. This borrowed room. The weight of this particular pen. Whatever it is that makes us feel secure in our physical space allows us to make the leap, hoping that the page will catch us.
-Dani Shapiro, Still Writing