From Jeffrey Eugenides, one of the best articles on writing I've read in a long time. It was adapted from a speech he made to a group young, award-winning authors, but it's excellent advice for writers of any age--award-winners or not.
Here's one of my favorites of several great passages:
"When you started writing, in high school or college, it wasn’t out of a wish to be published, or to be successful, or even to win a lovely award like the one you’re receiving tonight. It was in response to the wondrousness and humiliation of being alive. Remember? You were fifteen and standing beside a river in wintertime. Ice floes drifted slowly downstream. Your nose was running. Your wool hat smelled like a wet dog. Your dog, panting by your side, smelled like your hat. It was hard to distinguish. As you stood there, watching the river, an imperative communicated itself to you. You were being told to pay attention."
Read the entire article HERE.