Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB
Lately, I’ve been hearing from writer friends that they are stuck, or sick of their novel, or nervous about it, or afraid they’re not good enough, or . . . well, you get the idea.
Hey, folks—we’re not alone! Take a look at some famous writers, as quoted in
W.O.W.: Writer’s on Writing by Jon Winokur on the subject of angst (emphasis added):
Writing is pretty crummy on the nerves. ~ Paul Theroux
I used to greet each morning spitting blood in the washbasin, having the night before gnashed the inside of my mouth while dreaming I had misplaced a comma in my writing of that day, throwing off the pattern of speech given to the character who lived two hundred years ago. Years later a dentist asked me if I had a history of mental illness, because the mentally ill often exhibit the advanced molar grindings I did. ~ Thomas Sanchez
I find writing very nervous work. I’m always in a dither when starting a novel—that’s the worst time. It’s like going to the dentist, because you do make a kind of appointment with yourself. ~ Kingsley Amis
If I feel it [angst], I feel it now and then, but I don’t try to cherish it nor do I feel especially proud of it. It comes on me, let’s say, as a headache or toothache might come, and I do my best to discourage it. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Writing is the diametric opposite of having fun. All of life, as far as I’m concerned, is an excuse not to write. I just write when fear overtakes me. It causes paralytic terror. It’s really scary just getting to the desk—we’re talking now five hours. My mouth gets dry, my heart beats fast. I react psychologically the way other people react when the plane loses an engine. ~ Fran Lebowitz
All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up. ~ James Baldwin
It’s a nauseous process. ~ Rebecca West
See you day-after-tomorrow on Tuesday’s Tutor!