Firstly I believe you have to have a passion for your subject matter. With Dickens it was easy in a way because his writing is so evocative. The harder part was finding a way to discuss him that resonated with recent intellectual discourses around neoliberalism, neocolonialism and globalisation. I think one key is to have some writing superstars in your field in the back of your mind, and try to aspire to create writing that matches their standard. I also think of myself as in conservation with these folks, with my potential readers and with a story bigger than myself that I feel sure needs to be told. It then becomes my responsibility to get to work everyday to meet the demands of that important dialogue. I also meditate every morning before I hit my writing desk and establish goals for the day. I meditate at the end of my writing day to reflect on what I have accomplished and to make determinations for what comes next. This is a wonderful way to make sure you are writing consistently and also that you are aware of your goals and progress. Its a very balancing activity that allows one to find a way to mentally prepare for and reflect on one's progress.