Before any issues of style, content, or form can be addressed, the fundamental questions are: How long can you stay in that room? How many hours a day? How do you behave in that room? How often can you go back to it? How much fear (and, for that matter, how much elation) can you endure by yourself? How many years — how many years — can you remain alone in a room?
This essay is essential reading for every writer, and particularly for beginning writers.
Michael Ventura has been writing terrific articles and essays for more than 30 years and maintains an extensive archive on his website.