You were with Margo Roth Spiegelman last night? At THREE A.M.? I nodded. Alone? I nodded. Oh my God, if you hooked up with her, you have to tell me every single thing that happened. You have to write me a term paper on the look and feel of Margo Roth Spiegelman's breasts. Thrity pages, minimum! I want you to do a photo-realistic pencil drawing. A sculpture would also be acceptable. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to write a sestina about Margo Roth Spiegelman's breasts? Your six words are: pink, round, firmness, succulent, supple, and pillowy. Personally, I think at least one of the words should be buhbuhbuhbuh.
As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. ...This is our life and it's not going to last forever. There isn't time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.
Muses are fickle, and many a writer, peering into the voice, has escaped paralysis by ascribing the creative responsibility to a talisman: a lucky charm, a brand of paper, but most often a writing instrument. Am I writing well? Thank my pen. Am I writing badly? Don't blame me blame my pen. By such displacements does the fearful imagination defend itself.
Surely it is an odd way to spend your life - sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist, except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice.