Dear inspiring reader,
I’m tired today.
I could blame it on staying up late these past few nights, working on our house. (We bought a fixer-upper recreational cabin several years ago and have been steadily turning it into a real home while we live in it. We’re doing almost all the work ourselves — framing, Sheetrocking, wiring, plumbing, painting. It’s as challenging, rewarding, and exhausting as it sounds.)
I could also blame it on my second career as a novelist, which yields new avenues of challenging, rewarding, and exhausting work. I could blame it on the shortening days, the cooler weather. The daily, relentless chores. Parenting. Housekeeping.
But the truth is, I can’t blame this sort of fatigue on too much work or not enough sleep. This is a creative fatigue, the sense that I have nothing to say, and if I did, I’d be too tired and uninspired to write it. Sleep doesn’t fix it. Neither does whining, as tempting as it is.
I have to go back to the books. The ones that give me goosebumps, the ones that make my heart shudder, the ones that make me hope to be a writer.
At noon the next day they rode into the pueblo of Encantada at the foot of the low range of pollarded mountains they’d been skirting and the first thing they saw was Blevins’ pistol sticking out of the back pocket of a man bent over into the engine compartment of a Dodge car. — All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
These waters, thought Quoyle, haunted by lost ships, fishermen, explorers gurgled down into sea holes as black as a dog’s throat. Bawling into salt broth. Vikings down the cracking winds, steering through fog by the polarized light of sun-stones. The Inuit in skin boats, breathing, breathing, rhythmic suck of frigid air, iced paddles dipping, spray freezing, sleek back rising, jostle, the boat torn, spiraling down. — The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
“Is dying hard, Daddy?” “No, I think it’s pretty easy, Nick. It all depends.” They were seated in the boat, Nick in the stern, his father rowing. The sun was coming up over the hills. A bass jumped, making a circle in the water. Nick trailed his hand in the water. It felt warm in the sharp chill of the morning. — The Complete Short Stories, Ernest Hemingway
My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things — trout as well as eternal salvation — come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy. — A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean
What are your favorite lines, from a book, a song, a poem, that make you want to keep going?