(…)Of course I knew that writing was terrifically hard work, and that there was no secret code, as in a video game, that would unlock Tolstoy-mode, enabling me to crank out canon-worthy novellas before lunch. But I persisted in believing that I might one day come upon some technique, some set of tricks, that would vault me irreversibly onto the professional plane.
I know how a confession like this is supposed to end. I’m meant, like Dumbo flinging aside his feather, to realize that all the tricks and tools are unnecessary, and that what writing requires is grit, and patience, and the willingness to produce and then discard such a number of pages that you would seem, to a curious alien, to be in the garbage-generating business.
Among my magic feathers at the moment: a writing program called Scrivener (…)
(Ben Dolnick, Stupid Writer Tricks)