I read John Simmons' book Dark Angels (How writing releases creativity at work) immediately after his talk the other week. It's an excellent book and I emerged out of it full of ideas. Practice was one of them and one way John suggests you do that is to keep a diary. Nothing ground-breaking there but during the course of writing the book, he realised that that was one thing he'd never done, so tried it. Me to. Perhaps 'diary' isn't quite right. What I'm doing is using a Moleskine diary as a place to write something every day. Not necessarily something specifically diarific, just something. And so far, I've really enjoyed the discipline of having to write something every day. So far, while I don't claim these writings rival Hemingway, I think I've managed to avoid writing a load of old shite.
This snippet from Dark Angels has nothing really to do with any of that but with the next episode of Mad Men approaching fast I thought I'd share, as Simmons did in his book to illustrate how learning from other writers is vital, this excerpt, originally written in 1955, from The Unpublished David Ogilvy.