17 August 2011

I’m going to dedicate this blog to a friend of mine who says she’s suffering from Writers Block. I used to have it, when I was her age. I don’t anymore, and part of the reason is that I don’t have time for it — if anything, my problem is not starting but stopping writing. In this regard, WordPress, God bless them, is a great help, because once you cross the 300 word threshold they make it virtually impossible to continue.

But here’s some advice: like a jealous mistress, you can’t let writing think it’s the most important thing in your life. Even if it is. If you do, it will take advantage. So when you get hit with the dreaded WB, fill your day with other stuff, and whittle down the time you have to write to an hour or two (first or last part of the day, doesn’t matter) Give it a time limit, in other words, and if the Muse refuses to step forward, say, screw you, you’ll have to make another appointment.

See if she feels so special then.

I took a break from Don Quixote to take in an essay by Jose Ortega y Gasset. It was called “Notas de Andar y Ver” (“notes made why travelling and observing”) and is an account of the author’s trip on a mule over the lands the Moors had conquered in Spain. (Note to self: need to hire a mule and replicate JOyGs journey) It was assigned to me back in 1967 when I was a Freshman at Brown. Hey, better late than nevah, yo! I’m actually liking it. Jose took a campesino guide along with him (or the guide took him, I suppose) who complained constantly about the state of the country, and how the poor people had nothing, and everything went to the rich. Thank God we don’t have problems like that anymore in this world, or in THIS country.

And in any case, the Spanish Civil War happened 15 years later, so we have time to put it right.

Rupert Scofield


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