Archives For writer’s block

“There’s a time to go to the typewriter. It’s like a dog: the way a dog before it craps wanders around in circles—a piece of earth, an area of grass, circles it for a long time before it squats. It’s like that: figuratively circling the typewriter getting ready to write, and then finally one sits down. I think I sit down to the typewriter when it’s time to sit down to the typewriter.”

— Edward Albee, The Art of Theater No. 4, from The Paris Review interview.

Advertisements

Edward Albee: “There’s a time to go to the typewriter. It’s like a dog: the way a dog before it craps wanders around in circles…”

I am alone. I am sitting in the same chair that I’ve been using for over fifteen years. I search my feelings and the memories flood in. Usually they are filled with some form of resentment.

I read in a book that ‘manic-depression may trigger the desire to communicate, make perceptions more vivid, and loosen associations in a way that makes written creativity more likely.’

Do we seek this place so that creativity could flourish or does the stress of creative work simply drives us over the edge? Is the creative life only pleasing because the way we are… prevents us from holding stable jobs?

I’m thinking of people… people I once recalled as friends.

They are nothing but memories for a story I have yet to write or finish writing. My sister told me that every face you have seen in a dream are based on the faces you have seen in life. Even the ones you only saw for a split second. The strangers you see in the store. The coffee shop. On the bus. Every possibility of human connection that you pass by on your way through the day.

On average, you only participate with the same seven people on a daily or weekly basis. When someone else comes in — be it a new friend or a prospective lover — they will replace someone from the original members. We move in and out of circles just like that. Everything is in constant flux.

Continue Reading…

Last week I finished Ernest Hemingway’s A Movable Feast — a memoir of his time in 1920s Paris. It’s a short book and it has some neat insights about what he did and the people he hung out with — but you see it through his particular point of view (especially how F. Scott Fitzgerald is portrayed — I can’t tell if it’s truthful but it’s pretty damn hilarious). But for me (and whoever else read the book), the takeaway passage happens roughly near the beginning:

“I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.

But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.

It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.”

This guy.

Simple, huh? It’s a neat little writing mantra to decorate your typewriter with or to add to your wall of “inspiring” quotes… that is, if you do that kind of thing, heh heh heh ;)