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A writer’s brain is full of little gifts, like a piñata at a birthday party. It’s also full of demons, like a piñata at a birthday party in a mental hospital. The truth is, it’s demons that keep a tortured writer’s spirit alive, not Tootsie Rolls. Sure they’ll give you a tiny burst of energy, but they won’t do squat for your writing. So treat your demons with the respect they deserve, and with enough prescriptions to keep you wearing pants.
-

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do." by Colin Nissan

(McSweeney’s)


Well there was depression, anxiety, horrible stomach problems, horrible back problems, loneliness, horniness, dread, fear, and recurring radical doubt as to the worth of my endeavors, but other than that it was all quite effortless. At my nadir, I was reduced to lying beneath a glass coffee table and reading books placed faced down on top of it, which made page turning a bit of a production. Relief consisted of aquatic aerobatics classes attended by the aged and nearly dead. My malady? Life, really. Old-fashioned neurasthenia. The impossibility of everything. That, and the effort to write.
-Adam Haslett, in response to the question:  “Can you recall early challenges you faced, writerly or otherwise?”

celebrate?

It’s been told to me that writing is one of my gifts. Yet despite this, I still spend a lot of time wondering if it’s a worthy pursuit of my time. And then last night, I heard someone talking about gifts and how gifts are something that should be celebrated. Celebrated, and therefore probably not ruminated over or doubted, but exercised.

Aww, crap.


It’s ten o’clock at night. I have three-and-one-quarter pages left to finish for this new ten-page play I’m writing for tomorrow’s workshop. I’m writing it in lieu of finishing the full-length play I’ve been working on for almost two years. I don’t want to be that person who gets really close to finishing things and doesn’t. I don’t.

If I tried to come up with the number of Friday nights I’ve sacrificed to the writer gods instead of going out and living it up in my late twenties, I think I might cry. But here I am, typing away, at home, alone, at ten o’clock at night.


Gettin’ it done

I’m alone in Palm Springs for a couple of days before Christmas in order to get the first draft of my novel finished (or get to 75,000 words, whichever comes first) before the end of the year.

I wrote over 4,000 words tonight and have just under 11,000 to write tomorrow.

I’m also enjoying the $20 minibar wine and a marathon of the Police Women of Dallas.

A pretty awesome holiday, I’d say.


Writers:  So glamorous! So tragic! Just like Willy Faulkner up there.
LIFE Magazine features a fun/depressing list of literary figures (titans, many of them) who struggled with drugs and alcohol throughout their careers. Seems like good company to keep, doesn’t it?! (*)
When you get to the end of the slideshow, there’s a link to a gallery of writers who dabbled in another favorite literary pastime:  suicide. Fun!LIFE: Famous Literary Drunks & Addicts
(Via proustianmemory)
(*) Just kidding, Mom!

Writers:  So glamorous! So tragic! Just like Willy Faulkner up there.

LIFE Magazine features a fun/depressing list of literary figures (titans, many of them) who struggled with drugs and alcohol throughout their careers. Seems like good company to keep, doesn’t it?! (*)

When you get to the end of the slideshow, there’s a link to a gallery of writers who dabbled in another favorite literary pastime:  suicide. Fun!

LIFE: Famous Literary Drunks & Addicts

(Via proustianmemory)

(*) Just kidding, Mom!


I wish I had a routine for writing. I get up in the morning and I go out to my studio and I write. And then I tear it up! That’s the routine, really. Then, occasionally, something sticks. And then I follow that. The only image I can think of is a man walking around with an iron rod in his hand during a lightning storm.
-Arthur Miller in The Paris Review, Fall 1999
(via Daily Routines)