“Can you eliminate people and things that suck the creative energy out of you?”

“Are you ready to delete phrasing that feels comfortably familiar to you? Can you live afraid of clichés?”

“Can you survive for long stretches of time with no income?”

Advice-seeking, wanna-be novelists search for the answer to becoming a novelist. A clue. A key. Some formula that will unlock the magic of publishing.

At various literary workshops, author Kaye Gibbons is often asked by attendees to provide them with the one, true answer. Hopefuls want to know about her writing process in an effort to propel their own writing aspirations.

In Don’t Try This at Home, a post from 2005, Gibbons shares her insights and offers many questions that potential writers might consider asking themselves.

Perhaps an answer is in there for us to uncover.