What secrets there may be are either open secrets, or secrets that would be true only for the individual. Everything you need to know you'll learn, and can only learn, from writing, provided you don't delude yourself.--David Mitchell at The Guardian.
Hm, wonder what he thinks about the proliferation of writing books out there. A friend once asked which ones I'd recommend, but I think any of them can help at a particular moment. It doesn't matter which books you read about writing, only that you do the writing. I don't think any of them will turn you into a well disciplined writing machine. Caffeine seems to help, though. Mitchell, the author of Cloud Atlas, Number 9 Dream, and Ghostwritten prefers his in the form of tea. I'm a coffee drinker first, and tea drinker second, and even know a few writers and one potter who like mate.
And, while we are at it, the secret to Starbucks. Not my favorite place to get a cup of coffee, but definitely reliable. One of my favorite places locally just broke my heart by downgrading their coffee from a deelicious French roast to some common swill. They'd expanded to a neighboring storefront and are trying to save money -- what a mistake to cut the coffee quality! I'll never have breakfast there again. *SOB!!!*