Serendipity rules: I read this while I was working on “Restarting.” These days I don’t keep a notebook, but opening the work in progress seems to fill a similar function. Whatever works!
Joan Didion in 2005. Photo by Kathy Willens/Associated Press
Sometimes words fly from your fingers into the keyboard, the ink runs from your pen in a continuous flow, and your imagination fills the screen or page as if by magic. Sometimes when you sit down to write, inspiration is absent or obstinate, hiding and refusing to surface. American author Joan Didion refers to these times as “bankrupt mornings.” She counsels writers on keeping a notebook as a prophylactic against truant inspiration:
See enough and write it down, I tell myself, and then some morning when the world seems drained of wonder, some day when I am only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do, which is write — on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will be, a forgotten account with accumulated interest, paid passage back to the world…
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2 thoughts on “Joan Didion’s Cure for Bankrupt Mornings”
Perfect for me today! Thank you.
Isn’t it amazing how often the right message shows up exactly when you need to read it? I always feel more connected and less alone when I read something like that: Hey, Joan Didion was here too!
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