Pandora Hope|13 December 2015
The very phrase ‘writer’s block’ is enough to send a chill down my spine. A fortunate few never experience it, so legend says, but for me ‘the blank page’ is an ever present threat. Is today the day I sit down at the laptop and write…absolutely nothing?
The wonderful Anne Dillard is the woman I turn to on days like this, and her advice never fails to lubricate the rusty cogs of a stubbornly silent mind. Her ‘The Writing Life’ should be compulsory reading for all aspiring writers, and the following inspirational extract is just one reason why:
“When you are stuck in a book; when you are well into writing it, and know what comes next, and yet cannot go on; when every morning for a week or a month you enter its room and turn your back on it; then the trouble is either of two things. Either the structure has forked, so the narrative, or the logic, has developed a hairline fracture that will shortly split it up the middle — or you are approaching a fatal mistake. What you had planned will not do. If you pursue your present course, the book will explode or collapse, and you do not know about it yet, quite.