One of the best bits of advice I’ve come across related to writing is, READ.
So I have read a number of books and articles on character development, plot theory, and story pacing. I feel these things have been positive time investments because they have given me a structured way of thinking about my craft.
Combine the structure with plenty of fiction and non-fiction in my preferred genres, and my product starts to come together pretty well except for a nagging doubt regarding my expectations for my personal productivity.
Family, work, and the necessities of life really interfere with my desire to sit and write. Eventually, I found a balance between my writing and all of the “stuff” that bleeds off my time, energy, and creativity.
I recently came across an article by Mark Manson that provides some interesting perspective on the nature of creative work. Manson’s notion that the total number of hours invested can have an inverse relationship to the overall quality of the work produced, is food for thought for us creative types.
Fair warning, Mr. Manson’s style includes adult language.