In an introduction to salsa and bachata dance that I happened to catch this week, dancer and instructor Darlin Garcia emphasized the importance of basics. He said that as he advanced through the levels of studying dance, he always went back to the basics before each new level. It's important to build on a solid foundation, he said.
The same thing applies to writing. Most of what I have
done in the past year, and especially the past few months, is going back
to basics. The long twisting path of writing and publishing can lead us
all over the map. That's good in some ways--adventures, new views--but
it's also possible to get lost. I like to return to home base every so
Some of my back-to-basics questions are: What do I need to
write? How do I tell a story? What's important to me? Where is this
character's voice? Where do I want to go next? Much of it is about
getting quiet and listening, and waiting for the well to refill.