I've been enjoying Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life. I think of myself as more of a buckle down and power through woman than a free-spirited inspired type, but I found myself intrigued by many of her ideas.
Yesterday I read her recommendations on improving strengths and weaknesses in writing. I think I'm pretty strong on dialogue. World-building and descriptions, not so much. When I read, I tend to skim through those parts and not slow down to picture the world or savor the descriptions. I picture characters as existing in a bubble, interacting only with each other. That's most likely abnormal, but its effect on my writing is that I can hear everything my characters say to each other without being able to focus on anything in their surroundings. Kiiiind of a problem.
Anyway, Twyla Tharp shares the counsel of sixteenth-century Japanese swordfighter Miyamoto Musashi. He said: "Never have a favorite weapon." She says, "Warriors know they need to enlarge their arsenal of skills in order to avoid becoming predictable to their adversaries. It's not different when the craft is a creative one, and the stakes are somewhat less than life and death."
So world-building is my set of nunchucks, and I'm off to practice.