I keep on thinking.
If I sit here for long enough,
A line, one true line,
Will rise like some miraculous fish to the surface,
Brilliant and lithe in the late sunlight,
And offer itself into my hands.
I keep thinking that as the weeks go by,
and the waters never change
— Charles Wright, from “21,” Littlefoot: A Poem (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007)Charles Wright — The Vale of Soul-Making
Can you discuss your work process? When do you sit down to write, and what do you do to warm up?
Oh, it’s very tormented. I try to write in the morning, and I write in longhand, and I write in very beautiful notebooks [White displays a couple of hardbound notebooks filled with thick, hand-laid paper] and with very beautiful pens. I just write away, and then . . . This is a first go at it, and then I start crossing out, and it gets crazier and crazier, with inserts and so on. Finally, two or three years of this go by and then one day I call in a typist. I dictate the entire book to her or him. The typist is a sort of editor in that he or she will tell me what is really terrible and what’s good, or what’s inconsistent and doesn’t make sense. I get together a whole version this way and then I stew over it some more. Eventually my editor reads it, and then he tells me to change things, and it goes on like that. If I write a page a day, I’m lucky. But I write less. And months go by without my writing at all, and I get very crazy when I write! Sick, physically.
Edmund White, The Art of Fiction No. 105, as Interviewed by Jordan Elgrably in The Paris Review No. 108, Fall 1988.
There are no kingdoms to inherit.
No planet to be saved.
No prizes or trophies to be awarded.
Only the act of self-satisfaction.
Knowing that you have done your best.
That at least you have tried, if sometimes in vain.
To do something.
Rather than nothing.
– Marcus D. Niski, as taken from my writer’s notebook, 4 May 2020, [MN]
“A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood”
– Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer
via “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood” — Art of Quotation
Charles Bukowski was a German-American writer of poetry and prose, whose cult image lives on posthumously. Often using graphic language or imagery in his work, Bukowski spoke with raw emotion, honesty, and lack of pretence. He wrote about his alcoholism, failed relationships, and his experience of being abused as a child. Bukowski lived a challenging […]
via Charles Bukowski Quotes About Life — Ōrphic Flux
“The process of photographing is a pleasure: eyes open, receptive, sensing, and at some point, connecting. It’s thrilling to be outside your mind, your eyes far ahead of your thoughts.” – Henry Wessel, 1942-2018, photographer
via In Memory: “The process of photographing is a pleasure: eyes open, receptive, sensing, and at some point, connecting. It’s thrilling to be outside your mind, your eyes far ahead of your thoughts.” — Art of Quotation
“Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything.” – Floyd Dell, novelist, editor, playwright, poet
via “Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything.” — Art of Quotation
I take a lot of crap about my note-taking. Constant scribbling is so central to my persona, in fact, that one colleague recently expressed concern during a meeting when I wasn’t taking notes. “I forgot my pen,” I shrugged. Here’s the thing: I have a terrible memory — so if I don’t write it down […]
via The simple joys of hand-writing — HeideBlog
“If you are a writer, you have to be someone who can be on your own. You can sit in a room for eight hours, and at the end of it you will have done something.”
– Stephen Jeffreys, 1950-2018, British, playwright
via In Memory: “If you are a writer, you have to be someone who can be on your own. You can sit in a room for eight hours, and…” — Art of Quotation
Naked Cities Note [MN]: The Guardian’s Obituary for Stephen Jeffreys can be found at: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/sep/18/stephen-jeffreys-obituary