How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 83


When beginning a new project, I am always inspired reading about the process of other writers.

Here is the brilliant Donald Antrim:

“I write because writing is the hardest work I’ve ever done. It is slow and painstaking and frustrating. I do not begin with an idea or a theme, and I don’t make outlines. I don’t have a plan for the ending or, usually, for the next page or the next line. Even short pieces might take shape over years. Everything that I have ever seen, done, or felt, had, shared, or lost, is in play, and the word of the day is, on most days, confusion.

But there is also love. I don’t know what else to call it. I love my people. Their predicaments are contingent on my own, and their world is a kaleidoscopic version of this one.”

From hard work to love of one’s characters. I defy any writer of fiction not to be struck to the heart by the truth of these words.
Read his entire talk, a commencement speech recently published in The New Yorker

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