A Quote from Dan Kennedy, on the Writing Life
Recently I got some review books from Basic Books. (Yay, free stuff.) One of them is Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times, a collection of essays by mostly-young, relatively unknown writers on writing. Flipping through, I came across a diary entry from Dan Kennedy (one of those McSweeney's dudes) that I liked:
April 11, 2004
I don't believe in writer's bloc--I'm not working up to a big analysis of why one can go for so long without writing. I don't go in for that whole think of like (Spinal Tap accent in place) 'Look man . . . it's impossible to [insert any for mof creative work] write now. I can't do it, and I don't know when . . . [dramatic pause] or if . . . I'll be able to do it again, man.' I mean it ain't backbreaking work, writing. And there's no sense in making a precious and larger-than-life practice of it. I think that things like music, writing, filmmaking are all blue-collar jobs, and I think that it just gets worse and worse the more people try to position themselves or their craft as anything more lofty than what basically amounts to a job in the service of others. One of my all-time favorite quotes about the creative process of writing comes from Neal Pollack: 'I don't see writing as some sort of holy act. When the phone rings, I answer it.' Having said all of that, it has taken me a month to sit back down in front of this page. Maybe you can't control when inspiration will strike, but there is something to be said for the discipline of showing up so that when it comes around you'll be there waiting.