Superstition proliferates among the powerless. When we have no control over our writing, over the machinery that enables us to sit down and produce work that we can like and be proud of, we voluntarily turn power over to muses and furies. We characterize the random surges of inspiration and assign made-up systems to the unknowable mechanisms with power over lives — because clearly something has power over our lives and it is not us.

To take command of your own writing, you have to demystify it. A certain level of mysticism may always surround the work, but you have to at least illuminate the switch that turns on the writing machine. You have to know how to begin. You need access to those controls.