William Gibson: Writer’s Block as Default Setting

In preparation for the release of his latest novel Zero History, William Gibson speaks to interviewers and fans re: his writing process:

Gibson said he usually starts writing (a “painful and anxiety-ridden process“) around 10 a.m. every day, eats and drinks whatever’s around, revises his work extensively and is most happy when the writing is finished [Wired].

A “Creator’s block” sounds like something afflicting a divinity, but writer’s block is my default setting. Its opposite is miraculous. The process of learning to write fiction, for me, was one of learning to almost continually be doing it *through* the block, in spite of the block, the block becoming the accustomed place from which to work. Our traditional cultural models of creativity tend to involve the wrong sort of heroism, for me. “It sprang whole and perfect from my brow” as opposed to “I saw it mispelled, in mauve Krylon, on the side of a dumpster, and it haunted me”. I was much encouraged, when I began to write, by Manny Farber’s idea of “termite art” [Boing Boing].

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