Life inspires art and art inspires life and truth is stranger than fiction. Add to this: art inspires fiction, and fiction inspires art. And let’s raise a glass to art directors whose visions inform the books, themselves.
Artists are savvy at masking their excuses. Plenty are just plain lazy or too indecisive or too timid to dig in and confront the Beast. So what is the difference, or what is the threshold, between an artist who procrastinates for years and a prudent auteur … who has a plan?
Artists procrastinate. They also persist. What is certain is that we carry ideas around for longer than we know, and part of the artistic venture is unearthing the source.
Why try to engineer masterpieces anyway? The idea smacks of our tendency to make a science out of every imaginable pursuit.
As a teacher, and occasional perpetrator, of writing, I decided it would be fun to ask some of my favorite people how they deal with The Block. These bits of testimony will not work for all writers, but I believe a sense of the options (while remembering that one does not struggle alone) is of great practical value in staving off madness.
In other words, do try these solutions, alone or in combination. “Mix and match” is the cry.
PURCHASE: Dinner for two at Junoon
NOTE: This was the day we got the royalty check and was our first “fancy dinner” out in two years. To quote Brian: “Happy anniversary, birthday, and book contract day.”
WOULD STEPHEN KING LIKE IT: Junoon is in a publishing neighborhood so it’s quite possible he’s been there. Also, what sane person wouldn’t like deep fried paneer?
What do you do when Stephen King uses the same title on one of his books as you used on yours (which came out earlier)? You reap the rewards of mistaken Amazon purchases, and you document the spoils of those royalty checks.