People who are not — and do not want to be — authors, often make the mistake of imagining that those who are, and do, possess a super-human strain of self-discipline. A stellar character trait that they, alas, lack. But it isn’t true.
What authors, and those working daily toward authorship, have, is actually quite common. It’s the ability to enter a state of “entrancement.”
Writers are entranced by their writing. They write from within the magically altered state of a light, self-hypnotic trance.
This is the only Big-Secret technique that authors rely upon.
Apart from two other things equally available to anyone: Spending lots of time writing, and feeling deeply drawn to write.
But let’s get back to entrancement. For a novelist, say, what happens in this state is, he’ll see an inner-mind movie and hear inner-ear words. It isn’t hard to do.
People who read novels do the same thing, seeing the scenes in their inner eye. It’s part of our imaginative faculty — what allows us to dream at night, and daydream when awake.
The difference is, a novelist describes what he sees and hears in writing. And he’ll work with this writing, later on, shaping and rewriting, again and again. But the initial inspiration is a fairly easy inside job, since a novelist will be aware of almost nothing but the movie and the words unspooling in his mind (why it’s a trance).
I have a theory about this. Authors and writers are good at entering mild self-hypnotic states because they learned to do so as childhood readers (reading, again, is also trance-inducing).
And so, authors and writers had lots of practice watching movies in their inner mind before finally declaring, “I want to write books . . . and, by golly, I will!”
From then on, entrancement became a fulltime occupation.