Wanting invention’s stay.

Here it is, a post about not being able to write. Day 3 of WordPress’ blogging improvement project is essentially “write something.”

I stopped reading Paul Auster because everything he wrote seemed to be about writing or about writers trying to write. Or at least that’s how I read his work. It probably isn’t fair of me to say this since he’s written a fair amount since I gave up on his writing, but there it is.

Worse, I stopped writing because whenever I started to write again my first attempts were all about writing. Want to write a poem? Ponder the elegance that is the blank page. Want to write an essay? Write about all those things that prevent writing. Want to write a novel? Be Paul Auster.

No, that really isn’t fair. As a writer who writes about writing because he can’t seem to wrap his head around anything else, I’m in good company. Auster is fine company. The poet Mark Strand wrote about eating poetry (look it up–the dog ate his homework). And the forever-young Sir Philip Sidney leads off his sonnet cycle Astrophil and Stella with an alexandrine sonnet about how he wants to write some fit words in order to get laid, er, win the “grace” of a “dear she.”

Sidney ends his poem with the best admonition ever for writers suffering writers’ block: “Fool,” said my muse to me, “Look in thy heart, and write.”

Problem is, my heart is full of thoughts about writing.

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