Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe on writer's block:

Putting words together, one by one, can offer a delightful outlet for pent-up creativity or a dire source of pressure.  The order of operations matters more than the stylistic form.  Tell a student that he or she MUST write on a particular topic in a particular manner and he or she will produce clunky, constipated prose.  The epistolary equivalent of a Levittown tract house, the words will align to meet the basic needs of the assigned task but absent any artistic flair.  The same student released under his or her own recognizance can construct a magic kingdom of fluent fantasy.  If we find the freedom to write unconstrained by concepts of what the end product should be, most of us can compose something worth reading.  If only we could distract ourselves from obsession over the final product, we could remove the writer’s benighted block and begin building structures of semantic brilliance.