Sunday, February 6, 2011

Writing With a Start From Nothing Beginning Nowhere

Take notes. Even from the lofty perch of Henry James we learn this trick of the trade. What use is “Observe constantly!” without taking note of your observations? And by taking note it is important to take note of the fact that this means putting words on white pages.

Start with anything – Right! or Write! Anais Nin asked me to substitute for her Writing Workshops at the Mann Ranch in California during her illness in 1972. We joked about “getting started” – “Suggest they open the icebox door and start with a list of what they see. A bottle of ketchup become poetic if you begin to relate it to your percept, noting the stream of blood-red trickle down it’s side….” Go into the garden and list what you see. Some of the best writers have made such lists and they stand in the midst of the finished “product”-Rabelais, Samuel Beckett.
chocolate & caffeine always good, for any reason or no reason.


  1. What an interesting concept .... I may have to open that refrigerator and see what I come up with. Great post Wayne!

  2. Thank you Kerri!
    Still being a novice at blogging I love to have a comment now and then and really appreciate hearing the post makes the grade! p.s. I love your blog-

  3. Well, I just had a bowl of cereal. Let's see: creamy, crunchy little squares of ricey goodness. No. I had better stick with what I do best! xo

  4. Great info, enjoyed this! Thanks.

  5. Writing, like storytelling, is like thinking. We only need to remember the mechanics of recording it so the story becomes something we can share. I love that you share all of this here. Lily also sometimes turns on a recorder when I get going with the storytelling-a good tool to transcribe later and share.

  6. Jennifer- Interesting. Lucky you with Lily as your recording muse. It is a precious thing to know that she values what you are offering. I held the tape recorder for Anais during some of her lectures. Henry James did not have a tape recorder, but he did have an amanuensis who took down his words, and in some cases that was how he 'wrote' - The process goes on. You are a keeper of the flame. Life is great. Let's celebrate. Writing. Riting.
    Thank you!

  7. A very interesting way to get rid of the so called 'writer's block"

  8. Wayne,

    Thank you for your encouragement and tips to keep writing!

    PS I included a tiny shout out to you in my latest blog post. :)

    Love and hugs,
    Rose Marie