Your first attempt will be terrible. A large part of the creative process is tolerating the gap between the glorious image you had in your mind, and the sad thing you’ve just made. Remember that everything great you see started out as someone else’s bad first draft. Version No. 20 of your work may still not be brilliant. But version No. 1 almost definitely won’t be. And if you think it is, look again. Whenever someone sends me a manuscript and says, “It just flowed out of me,” I usually think: Let it flow back into you for a while.
Everything that happens is potential inspiration. Or as Nora Ephron reminded us, “Everything is copy.” When someone tells you a story, you notice a recurring theme in conversations, or you turn a corner and see something that moves you — use it. In fact, when you’re deep into a project, information about it will pour into your life. Write your thoughts down immediately. One of the great joys of a creative life is that your observations and loose moments aren’t lost forever; they live in your work.