The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

O'Connor, Flannery, ed. Sally Fitzgerald

Vintage, 1980

p. 242

“I’m a full-time believer in writing habits, pedestrian as it all may sound.  You may be able to do without them if you have genius, but most of us have only talent and this is simply something that has to be assisted all the time by physical and mental habits or it dries up and blows away.  I see it happen all the time.  Of course you have to make your habits in this conform to what you can do.  I write only about two hours every day because that’s all the energy I have, but I don’t let anything interfere with those two hours, at the same time and at the same place.  This doesn’t mean I produce much out of the two hours.  Sometimes I work for months and have to throw everything away, but I don’t think any of that was time wasted. Something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well.  And the fact is you don’t sit there every day, the day it would come well, you won’t be sitting there.”