Window on Writing: When Words Won’t Come
When the body’s weary
and words won’t come
take a nap
take a walk
snap some pictures
and chew on words
that nourish your writer’s heart.
The line of words fingers your own heart. It invades arteries, and enters the heart on a flood of breath; it presses the moving rims of thick valves; it palpates the dark muscle strong as horses, feeling for something, it knows not what. A queer picture beds in the muscle like a worm encysted–some film of feeling, some song forgotten, a scene in a dark bedroom, a corner of the woodlot, a terrible dining room, that exalting sidewalk; these fragments are heavy with meaning. The line of words peels them back, dissects them out. Will the bared tissue burn? Do you want to expose these scenes to the light? You may locate them and leave them, or poke the spot hard till the sore bleeds on your finger, and write with that blood. If the sore spot is not fatal, if it does not grow and block something, you can use its power for many years, until the heart resorbs it. ~Annie Dillard in The Writing Life.
Thanks, Carol Garvin, for this wonderful little book. I may be one of the few writers who have not read it. Yet.