Concentration not inspiration

It’s not inspiration. I think inspiration is nonsense, actually. Every so often I mean like one day in 20 or something, you will have a day when the work seems to just flow out of you and you feel lucky… Most of the time it’s… a lot slower and more exploratory and it’s more a process of discovering what you have to do than just simply have it arrive like a flame over your head. So I do think it’s to do with concentration, not inspiration. It’s to do with paying attention and I think the business of writing a great deal of it is the business of paying attention to your characters, to the world they live in, to the story you have to tell, but just a kind of deep attention and out of that if you pay attention properly the story will tell you what it needs.

Salman Rushdie on the writing process. I think we all hope that our jobs will provide us with that flash of inspiration, but that’s rare. Most often, it comes from thinking about something until you feel like you can’t possibly think about it any more.

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