The Writing Life

You rely too much on a feeling. You know what you must do and yet you continue to wait for a heating of the blood, which almost never comes. The almost is meretricious and turns your hour of writing into a superstitious conjuring trick. There is nothing for it but to deny the existence of your muse and just get to work. For the muse has its counterpart in disaster, leading you on to nowhere: the very harpy of vanity and where she goes there blooms nihilism and vacuity. Anything that you can write you will write now—or never as the case may be. Remember that paper burns, word docs are an electronic figment, and the delete key is your greatest tool. Do not fear that you should produce garbage, nor should you think your work is exceptional: both views are a distraction from the task-at-hand. There is therefore no angel, no epiphany, no heavenly grace, but only mundane, brute, lonely toil. Do not hurry, do not rest.

 


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WHAT YOUR WEEK HAS IN STORE is a weekly (-ish) horoscope by Forest Lewis. If you’d like to receive email alerts—and that’s all you’ll get, a short email—saying the new one’s up, sign up here:


Front page image by juliette.

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