A friend who's into me being a writer asked me how things were going. I joked that I had my head into three novels - selling one, editing another, starting a third - and wasn't always sure which one I was talking about at any particular time. And I told him that the new one was really coming to me strongly, was threatening to take over my life, and that I was purposely slowing it down a little while I finished my editing on the previous one.
"Oh, you shouldn't do that!" he said. "You've got to strike while the inspiration's there." And then launched into a five-minute talk on the art of writing, involving some movie with Sean Conncery a few years ago ("Finding Forrester"?).
I was actually highly amused, because this happens all the time - amateurs giving advice to the 25-year veteran novelist. So I just listened until he come to this understanding himself and said, "Well why the heck am I telling YOU all this?"
I think it's mostly projection, but it is funny how much advice I get sometimes. People are always telling me about books I should read, and I feel like saying, "Shouldn't YOU be asking ME about good books to read?"
Image: The last line, final draft of "The Monkey Tribe," novel number ten.