Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Dry Tank

This is from Ron Powers' biography, A Life: Mark Twain regarding Twain's promise to his publisher to write night and day and send 200 pages of manuscript a week on the book he was struggling with, which eventually came out as Roughing It:
He was kidding himself. He was in no shape to write night and day. His creative interest in the book had stalled, a recurring affliction that Mark Twain eventually came to understand metaphorically as his "tank" running dry. He also came to understand -- later-- how to deal with the "dry tank": put the manuscript aside and wait, for months or years, until the tank filled up again.

Some people have been asking what has happened to my blog; am I okay? I'm okay. My "tank" will fill up again when it fills up. I just hope it isn't months or years.


rdl said...

Nice to see you back, tank or no tank.

Anonymous said...

Missed you and all the responses your writing provokes ! It's not like I don't have a life, I'm just in the habit of checking in after my e-mail routine. Did I make "habit" sound like a bad thing? It's good.

smuggy said...

Personally, I think (when it comes to writing or any other creative activity) my "tank" fills up when I actually engage in the process of writing -- not beforehand. If I waited till the tank filled up on its own, I don't think I'd ever get any writing done.

Amishlaw said...

I think you're right, Smuggy. There's no substitute for just doing it.