What writing practice, like Zen practice, does is bring you back to the natural state of mind, the wilderness of your mind where there are no refined rows of gladiolas. The mind is raw, full of energy, alive and hungry. It does not think in the way we were brought up to think—well-mannered, congenial.
A book about writing isn’t enough. Being a writer is a whole way of life, a way of seeing, thinking, being. It’s the passing on of a lineage. Writers hand on what they know.
The old essentials are still necessary. Stay with them under all circumstances. It will make you stable—something unusual for a writer.