One of my favorite quotes by Natalie Goldberg, in my opinion the best writing teacher the world has to offer, goes like this: “1 plus 1 equals a Mercedes Benz.”
Here’s a writing tip: Take Goldberg’s sentence and use it as the first line in a paragraph. Then write about what this sentence means to you. Yes, this sentence sounds absurd. That’s the point.
This exercise too is based on one of Goldberg’s suggestions. I have written many paragraphs starting with this line, and every one of them is different, every one of them has taught me something about myself, about my writing ability, about the strange beings that inhabit my mind.
Here’s another tip: buy – and read – and practice – Natalie Goldberg’s books about the writing process – Writing Down the Bones, and Wild Mind. Best money I ever spent.