“The fundamental experience of the writer is helplessness.

This does not mean to distinguish writing from being alive: it means to correct the fantasy that creative work is an ongoing record of the triumph of volition, that the writer is someone who has the good luck to be able to do what he or she wishes to do: to confidently and regularly imprint his being on a sheet of paper. But writing is not decanting of personality. And most writers spend much of their time in various kinds of torment: wanting to write, being unable to write, wanting to write differently, being unable to write differently. In a whole lifetime, years are spent waiting to be claimed by an idea. The only real exercise of will is negative: we have toward what we write the power of veto.”

— Louise Gluck, from “The Education of the Poet”

Writing is a lot like being in love with someone who sometimes, occasionally,
loves you back.


His ar(t) (k)



From childhood he dreamed of being able to
keep with him all the objects in the world lined
up on his shelves and bookcases. He denied
lack, oblivion or even the likelihood of a missing
piece. Order streamed from Noah in blue tri-
angles and as the pure fury of his classifications
rose from around him, engulfing his life, they came
to be called waves by others, who drowned, a
world of them.

– Anne Carson