Sitting up with my “dying friend.”

Annie Dillard in The Writing Life says:

I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as with a dying friend. During visiting hours, I enter its room with dread and sympathy for its many disorders. I hold its hand and hope it will get better. This tender relationship can change in a twinkling. If you skip a visit or two, a work in progress will turn on you.

Yes, I’m in the middle of a writing-marathon holiday weekend. Many, many hours of writing. Few hours of sleep. Zero hours of anything else, save dining and walking. These weekends become rollercoaster rides that veer and swerve from moments of thrilling inspiration (occasional) to long stretches of disgust, despair, and frustration.

Of course, all three of the previous books have given me similar experiences. This is why they call writing “work.”

That’s my report from the front lines. And now, while the world around me sleeps, I’m going right back to it.

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