0) I started writing fiction in first grade. I read … a lot. I never went anywhere without books (plural).
1) I wrote my first 100+ page book at 13. (it was interesting but formulaic and terrible. I did a lot of drawing (very good) in pencil. And then pen and ink. I did a weekly comic (esoteric) in college ridiculing the college. lol.
2) I have years of one of the best art theory schools in the world behind me. I was taught by full time practicing NY based artists, most of some note, during the end of the minimalist period and the re-transition to craftsmanship. The oddities that might interest you is that the staff chose Rand’s art theory as the basis of the program. I still think it’s her most important work, no matter how brief.
3) In our university you could take creative writing every semester – I did. I’ve studied literature, fiction (yes they are different), and film. (Ya think I wasn’t just as obsessive about the writing discipline as I am about everything else?)
4) I’ve been teaching the creative process for years. There are good books on it. They all say the same thing. I just explain what’s going on in your brain to legitimize the explanatory evidence. In other words, we know why the authors of those books are correct.
5) the art of writing is pretty much a science at this point. We vary in our ability to sentence-make, and I use Hemmingway (a sequence of photos), and dickens (every sentence a balanced aphorism – almost impossible to imitate), King (good characters) and Heinlein bad characters) as myth makers; flemming; macdonald, and clancey as modern hero makers; pynchon and mccarthy as ‘literature’, and Herbert and now Martin as World Makers. (I avoid the 20th socialist authors entirely.)
6) Pretty much every successful author works today by the same methods. It’s much easier when you know what it is you need to accomplish next and only need to help your characters and the reader get there. (I have the two main writer’s apps but I find I don’t really need them except for outlining because i write arguments instead of scenes and there is no art to organizing them. I prefer to write in a text editor with indent capability. )
I don’t do painting because I lack the color facility (badly). I don’t do sculpture because it’s all but financially impossible today, and the marxists and pomos have destroyed the art. I don’t do movies ’cause the biz is skeevy and all but the writers shallow – seriously so. (writers tend to be interesting.) And I don’t write reviews of art because most of what I would say would be negative and it would be repetitious and tedious for for the reader. I have occasionally written about some of the arts, and will teach a class at the institute in art history and theory – I have it outlined, but I have to get ‘adapted’ to my new situation a bit more, and finish the Foundations Course before I produce it – and the military and the economic courses…. But I’ll go toe to toe with any critic on the arts no problem.
I choose philosophy as my art, because it suits me – no materials other than a laptop internet connection and time. I’m an entrepreneur to fund my social science experiments and information gathering – and because working for others when I was younger was exasperating. I’m an artist because I practice the creative method as my primary skill. I like to fight because I was raised in a period where one had to. 😉