Tag: writer’s block

Writer’s block today

Sunday, 29 May, 2016 0 Comments

“The last thing we discover in composing a work is what to put down first.”
Blaise Pascal

“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
‘Fool!’ said my muse to me, ‘look in thy heart, and write.'”
Sir Philip Sidney

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
Charles Bukowski


The lovely gift of the gab lost

Sunday, 25 May, 2014 0 Comments

In George Orwell’s novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the protagonist Gordon Comstock struggles in vain to complete an epic poem describing a day in London: “It was too big for him, that was the truth. It had never really progressed, it had simply fallen apart into a series of fragments.” What Comstock battles is a phenomenon called “poet’s block”, a much less famous torment than its cousin, “writer’s block”. When Dylan Thomas found himself unable to compose, he created the image of “The lovely gift of the gab” that “bangs back on a blind shaft”. The combination invokes the image of a once-rich vein of language in a Welsh mine that is now empty of inspiration.

On No Work of Words

On no work of words now for three lean months in the
bloody
Belly of the rich year and the big purse of my body
I bitterly take to task my poverty and craft:

To take to give is all, return what is hungrily given
Puffing the pounds of manna up through the dew to heaven,
The lovely gift of the gab bangs back on a blind shaft.

To lift to leave from treasures of man is pleasing death
That will rake at last all currencies of the marked breath
And count the taken, forsaken mysteries in a bad dark.

To surrender now is to pay the expensive ogre twice.
Ancient woods of my blood, dash down to the nut of the seas
If I take to burn or return this world which is each man’s
work.

Dylan Thomas (1914 — 1953)


Writer’s block

Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 0 Comments

“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.” Erica Jong

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” Hilary Mantel