Like all service, writing is hard work. You must funnel reams of words through your fingers, laying down sentences like an athlete lays down miles. You must go on your knees to the mysteries of creation, like a priest before the altar.
You must develop practices that cocoon your inner, imaginative life, protecting it from assaults by the outer world — including your own longings for money and fame — so you can keep on giving. You must read widely, and emulate writing masters, until you’ve worked out what it is that only you can say.
And how you’re going to say it.
Do all this well and you’ll find your service to others also serves you, all the days of your writing life."