On No Work of Words On no work of words now for three lean months in the bloody Belly of the rich year and the big purse of my body I bitterly take to task my poverty and craft: To take to give is all, return what is hungrily given Puffing the pounds of manna up through the dew to heaven, The lovely gift of the gab bangs back on a blind shaft. To lift to leave from the treasures of man is pleasing death That will rake at last all currencies of the marked breath And count the taken, forsaken mysteries in a bad dark. To surrender now is to pay the expensive ogre twice. Ancient woods of my blood, dash down to the nut of the seas If I take to burn or return this world which is each man's work.
Writing is something that you don't know how to do. You sit down and it's something that happens, or it may not happen. So, how can you teach anybody how to write? It's beyond me, because you yourself don't even know if you're going to be able to. I'm always worried, well, you know, every time I go upstairs with my wine bottle. Sometimes I'll sit at that typewriter for fifteen minutes, you know. I don't go up there to write. The typewriter's up there. If it doesn't start moving, I say, well this could be the night that I hit the dust.
People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain.. or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.
The problem is acceptance, which is something we're taught not to do. We're taught to improve uncomfortable situations, to change things, alleviate unpleasant feelings. But if you accept the reality that you have been given- that you are not in a productive creative period- you free yourself to begin filling up again.
Very often we write down a sentence too early, then another too late; what we have to do is write it down at the proper time, otherwise it's lost.
Convince yourself that you are working in clay, not marble, on paper not eternal bronze: Let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes.
If your wife locks you out of the house, you don't have a problem with your door.
Writer's block' is just a fancy way of saying 'I don't feel like doing any work today.
When the ink runs dry, you're most likely writing at the wrong angle.
I'm sitting in my office trying to squeeze a story from my head. It is that kind of morning when you feel like melting the typewriter into a bar of steel and clubbing yourself to death with it. (“Advance Notice”)