I've been reading An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. I loved the combination of music and literature (the former being the subject, the latter the medium) though I grew a little tired of the first person narrator in the end - very self-centred. It made me think that it doesn't matter what one does to improve the writing, as long as it's creative. It's like switching on a lightbulb listening to Schumann - or Dylan, for that matter. Or watching a film or a play. Or walking in the January sunshine. Or writing a letter or a bit of a dialogue or a blog.
And one more creative dynamo - turn off the computer and the mobile. Walk away from the desk. Just spend days cooking and talking and reading. In other words, have a Christmas holiday. As soon as I turned on the computer this morning the adrenalin started pumping. Yes, we're off, it's a new year.