Friday, December 19, 2008


Just got the new Poets & Writers and can't quite believe I have the time to read it upon receipt. I looked for a link to Gabriel Cohen's article "On Not Writing" (in the Literary Life section), but couldn't find it online. It's a short article on all the things we do while building up to writing, with moments devoted to writer's block as well.

Here are three passages that jumped out at me:
"The world doesn't need us to be writers, and it doesn't fall apart if we stop."

This is an echo of a Virginia Woolf quote that I've blogged about before. In light of Hall's article from my last post, ambition is cast in a different light when I realize that nobody is begging me to write.

"It's a craft, a job, a daily small achievement. ... And it's better to actually build one modest, serviceable little cabin than to never complete the glorious mansion in your head."

Again, this rang an echo from Hall's article on ambition.

"In real life, getting to the computer is a matter of delayed momentum: I finally hit the keyboard not because I've been struck with a cinematic bolt of inspiration, but because the self-disgust of not writing finally gains enough mass to roll over my anxiety about what to write."

All I can say about this is...holy, yes!

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