“After I finish a book, I forget how to write,” says Patricia Lockwood. She followed up: “And then I always forget I’m going to forget how to write and plunge into the depths of despair … so beautiful.”
Here is how my friend Maureen McHugh put it:
Every time I think I’ve figured out how to write, I discover that actually, I’ve just figured out how to write the thing I just wrote, and I have no clue how to write the next scene, the next story, or the next book.
I think all the time about this paragraph I clipped from comedy writer Tom Koch’s obituary:
Can I do it again? Probably. I mean, I have before?
I like what Meaghan O’Connell wrote this week about revision:
Imagine taking the very sharpest thought you had each day for two years and then adding it to a pile. If someone walked by and looked at your pile of best thoughts, they’d think you were a genius.
Yes! Something small, every day. The slow accumulation of bits over time. “BITS & PIECES PUT TOGETHER TO PRESENT A SEMBLANCE OF A WHOLE.”