“I have two opposing bits of writing advice. The first is from Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Criticism”: “True ease in Writing comes from Art not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance.” The second bit of advice is expressed a little less loftily by some lines I read many years ago as an undergraduate, and cannot now find an author to credit: “The goose who laid the golden egg died looking up its crotch, to find out how its sphincter worked. Would you write well, don’t watch.” Craft is simply a matter of hard work, what John Gardner rightly calls ridiculously hard work. Inspiration is a matter of keeping your ass planted in your writing chair. It will not happen if, when the muse descends on your desk, you are down at the bar telling people you’re a writer.”

– Vic Sizemore

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