The Struggle of Writing

Billy Collins: Well when you’re not writing, there’s an anxiety about whether you will ever write again.  Of all the kinds of writers – well at least compared to playwrights and novelists – poets return to the blank page more frequently.  You know a novel can take you six month or five years to write; but a poem can get done in an afternoon or a couple of days.  And then you’re back to zero and you have to restart from nothing.  And at that point the question comes up, I mean, can you restart?  Can you boot yourself up again, so to speak?  Or was that it?  So that is probably the main anxiety, I think, that goes with poetry writing.  Poetry writing is a heavier exposure to the blank page . . . more regular encounters with blankness.


July 4, 2007

"When you're not writing, there's an anxiety about whether you will ever write again," says Collins.

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