Diane Cook Recommends...

"I've led a good life, but I've definitely not led a regretless life. There are plenty of things I stopped myself from doing, people I stopped myself from meeting, things I didn’t let myself say. But I made a promise when I started writing my own fiction: I won't ever stop myself from writing something down. And so, when I'm drafting, I always say, 'yes' to what my brain comes up with. I cast aside nervousness. I never tell myself, 'Oh no, don't say that or say it that way, that isn't smart/serious/good enough.' I just say it. Worrying about that stuff—saying, 'no' to things—is for revision. And that is useful, too. But drafting is the time for saying, 'yes.' It’s like hitching a ride with a tall, dark, possibly dangerous stranger called your brain. And your brain drives the car into a dense, dark wood with one road (you think) and the weak headlights only illuminate what is right in front. You're alert and white knuckled in an exhilarating way. The road turns and twists and roads appear on the left or right and your brain follows them with a quick jerk, and then you're on a new bumpy, dark road with only possibility in front of you. You just don't know what is coming next and so you become a part of it. You let go and let your brain surprise you. For me, that is what makes writing so alluring. The realization that if I give up some control, I can go places I didn’t know existed." 
—Diane Cook, author of Man V. Nature (Harper Collins, 2014)