Charles Wright — The Vale of Soul-Making

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

Edmund White: ‘On the Pleasures and Pains of Writing’

INTERVIEWER

Can you discuss your work process? When do you sit down to write, and what do you do to warm up?

WHITE

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.

Keep Creating.

Keep creating.

There are no kingdoms to inherit.

No planet to be saved.

No prizes or trophies to be awarded.

Only the act of self-satisfaction.

Of self-application.

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]

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

“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

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

“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