Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Page, The Blank Page

Who Will Teach Me to Write?

Who will teach me to write? a reader wanted to know. The page, the page, the blankness of eternity which you cover slowly, affirming time’s scrawl as a right and your daring as necessity; the page, which you cover woodenly, ruining it, but asserting your freedom and power to act, acknowledging that you ruin everything you touch but touching it nevertheless, because acting is better than being here in mere opacity; the page, which you cover slowly with the crabbed thread of your gut; the page in the purity of its possibilities; the page of your death, against which you pit such flawed excellences as you can muster with all your life’s strength: that page will teach you to write.

ANNIE DILLARD

6 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Tell that the blank pages that refuse to relinquish their dead stare. Bastards.

Utah Savage said...

My problem was never the blank page. I can fill a blank page so fast it scares me sometimes. It is the editing of the filled page that is my problem. That and the writing of the query letter. Bastards should just ask for a little bio info, page count etc and then the first three chapters. It's easier to publish in the UK. I am going to try very hard to find a British or Canadian agent.

PENolan said...

Is it really easier to publish in the UK? I've got to come up with a book proposal, an outline and some chapters for a new project. An editor friend told me I should be able to get an advance on the strength of the title and the outline.
Now I just have to make up the outline.

I wish we could have a weekly writers group.

Utah Savage said...

I do too. We have tried to do it the online way, but you need to be together at the same time reading you stuff and getting feedback from other writers. I really helped me get started on my book.

Lisa said...

Hello, darling. I am in complete denial that I must do a query letter so I can't even feel your pain yet.

Have you read The First Five Pages?

La Belette Rouge said...

I am printing this post. And, oh, dear Utah, I hear you. I can fill a page. I can write long and hard and long. Editing and query writing are a horse of a different colour.

I am 95% done with my proposal/query and writing it has been like giving birth without an epidural.