Since John has invited me to write on his new blog, I have given it a lot of thought - not much writing, but a lot of thought! I spent some time yesterday and today working on some short exercises. The first one was on dialogue, and the second was on descriptions. It is amazing how much time it takes. I can generally bang out ten pages in an hour on any story I am working on - but not this time! It took me over a half hour to write just a short piece of descriptions. If you have read a Ludlum novel or Gabaldon's work - or anyone whose style you admire for its ability to put you in the moment, it is no wonder it takes so much time and hermit-behavior to produce a good piece of writing. It is a gift, and one that has to be honed. I'm not sure I've a very good writer - not for fiction - but I can only improve by working on these small pieces. Try it sometime - just for fun. You might be surprised. I certainly was.