If you have 60 minutes to spare, here’s an amazing video on creativity and the brain with neurologist Oliver Sachs and artists Chuck Close and Richard Serra: http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11264
About halfway in, Chuck Close says something that electrified me. Charlie Rose asks him about inspiration and how that figures in his art and Close says, to great general amusement, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just turn up for work.”
This week I turned in draft 13 of Balthasar’s Gift, the draft that, if they are happy about it, my agent and her co-agents are going to start shopping around. Thirteen drafts and three-and-a-half years of writing. If I was still relying on inspiration, I’d have given up years ago.
Close’s off-the-cuff comment also made me realise why it took me so long to commit to being a writer. I was waiting for the inspiration. Now I know it’s mostly about the work.