Café Discovery: Writer’s Block

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I believe that the so-called ‘writing block’ is a product of some kind of disproportion between your standards and your performance … one should lower his standards until there is no felt threshold to go over in writing. It’s easy to write. You just shouldn’t have standards that inhibit you from writing … I can imagine a person beginning to feel he’s not able to write up to that standard he imagines the world has set for him. But to me that’s surrealistic. The only standard I can rationally have is the standard I’m meeting right now … You should be more willing to forgive yourself. It doesn’t make any difference if you are good or bad today. The assessment of the product is something that happens after you’ve done it.

–William Stafford

(Warning:  Graphics inside)

Sometimes there is a gap between that which we want to write and the writing of it.  We can fill that gap with many tasks we would rather not be doing.  Or just maybe we can do something else creative.  So I sat down to my art program and learned how to do something new, quite by accident at first.  These graphics have holes in some of the layers…gaps, as it were…allowing layers underneath to be seen through layers above.

In Intertwined, I even managed to get two layers to do that simultaneously, apparently.  I haven’t yet figured out how to reproduce that effect.

Seethrough 1:

There’s nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.

–Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

Twizzle 2:

So often is the virgin sheet of paper more real than what one has to say, and so often one regrets having marred it.

–Harold Acton, Memoirs of an Aesthete, 1948

Bejeweled 1:

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.

–Anaïs Nin

Bejeweled 2:

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

–Sylvia Plath

Bejeweled 3:

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.

–Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977

Bejeweled 4:

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

–Toni Morrison


It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone.  That is where the writer scores over his fellows:  he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.

–Vita Sackville-West

Red and Black 1:

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.

–Mark Twain

Red and Black 2:

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.

–Emme Woodhull-Bäche


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    • Robyn on June 14, 2009 at 20:01

    Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.

    –William Wordsworth

    • Robyn on June 15, 2009 at 00:28

    Gaps in the Midst:

    And I took it over to DK.

    • Alma on June 15, 2009 at 01:38

    Once again you’ve outdone yourself.  🙂

    I can’t decide if I like the Red and Blacks the best or the Intertwined.  Your artistic work is definitly still growing. It seems to have new depth lately.

  1. The writing doesn’t flow when there’s self judgment. Thanks for the reminder.  

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