In order to do something well, we must not think of it as separate from the rest of our life. It must not be sacred, protected, or sequestered. The tendency for many writers is to live two lives – one where they are doing what we all do – living, working, grocery shopping, going to the dentist – and the other where they write. I have lived like this. However, once I allowed what I understand about writing – the process, the discipline – to infiltrate my life at the office, once I considered how I could apply what I learn while writing to my day job, and likewise, once I allowed my writing to be influenced by what I do all day, by the scars and secrets of being in an office all day or squeezing in a few errands on the way home, the writing became part of all that I do; it became real, and it overflowed the banks I had built to contain it. When you see all of your life’s experience as material for your writing, all the people you know as characters, all your experience as research for place or perspective, this is how you live as a writer. This is when you come to be a writer even when you are not writing. dm