|Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it.
~Jack London, “Getting Into Print,” 1905
Inspiration is never the only way to start writing. If every writer depended solely on inspiration, then there would be much less literature out there. Writing starts with writing. Like any other trade, writing takes skill and practice which beget expertise. Granted, there are writers with a knack for churning out copious amounts of writing, they certainly were not born that way. They started with writing words, then sentences, then stories—simple, sophomoric ideas that became more sophisticated as they gained yet more skill, experience, and knowledge. What a writer must rather have is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, never-ending patience, and the persistence of PEI mosquitoes. With enough perseverance, a skilled writer can become a master and a bad piece of writing can be re-crafted and revised over and over again until it is so unlike the original work it can be quite the gem. No diamond ever adorned a woman so gracefully that was not cut and polished into refinement and glory by the most patient of craftsmen. That is precisely because the writer is a craftsman, cutting, refining, polishing, until the roughest work is a masterpiece worthy of inclusion in the canons of great literature.