You must train your intuition -- you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.
I was sat at the bottom of the garden a week ago, smoking a reflective cheroot, thinking about this and that - mostly that, and I just happened to glance at the night sky and I marvelled at the millions of stars glistening like pieces of quicksilver thrown carelessly onto black velvet. In awe I watched the waxen moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like an amber chariot towards the void of infinite space wherein the tethered bolts of Jupiter and Mars hang forever in their orbital majesty; and as I looked at all this, I thought, 'I must put a roof on this lavatory.'
Ten years before --- even five --- I had been the same way. I wanted it all and I wanted it fast and no obstacle was big enough to put me off. Since then I have learned that some things were bigger than they looked from a distance, and now I was not so sure anymore just what I was going to get or even what I deserved.
I am a writer, a professional journalist with serious credentials in Crime, Craziness, and Politics. I have mingled with dangerous criminals and attended many trials . . . from Hell's Angels, Black Panthers and Chicano street fighters to Roxanne Pulitzer and even Richard Nixon, back in the good old days before he was run out of the White House for fraud, perjury, graft, and criminal negligence.
One of the few ways I can almost be certain I'll understand something is by sitting down and writing about it. Because by forcing yourself to write about it and putting it down in words, you can't avoid having to come to grips with it. You might be wrong, but you have to think about it very intensely to write about it. So I use writing as a learning tool.
National Observer became my road gig out of San Francisco. I was too much for them. I would wander in on off hours drunk and obviously on drugs, asking for my messages. Essentially, they were working for me. They liked me, ,but I was the Bull in the China Shop --- The more I wrote about politics the more they realized who they had on their hands. they knew I wouldn't change and neither would they.
I know what love is. When you find the person you are supposed to love, bells ring and fireworks go off in your head and you can't find the words to speak and you think about him all the time. When you find the person you are supposed to love, you will know by staring deeply into their eyes.
Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.