Inertia: What’s Under the Writer’s Hood?

Writer Jason Howell hosts a weekly Q&A with writers & readers on his blog, mostly aimed at the place where writing, reading, and life intersect. This week’s question(s): What gets you back on the horse again? Keeps you trying?

I was grateful for the chance to chime in this week. Stop by and see the range of responses. Post your own in the comments here, if you like.


"The Nightmare" by Henry Fuseli

“The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli

Robert Coover (novelist / professor emeritus, Brown University): “My way of making-the-best-of-it is to try to make a good story out of it… One thing about [the hero] is that the poor old fella’s had it, he knows he’s had it, but he’s still crawling back up on [the dragon’s] back again, and the willingness to do that is part of what makes the writing of the stories possible. If one falls into the despair that’s available, as one’s story-supports fall away, it’s all too easy to sink into that feeling of total inertia that overtakes you when you realize, looking at the world as a whole, from a cosmic viewpoint, it’s meaningless, and it can just drive you into a kind of immobility. It’s breaking through that immobility and getting right back on the horse again that is the heroism, and is the only way that we might make something out of nothing.”

What gets you back on the horse again? Keeps you trying? Mobilizes you when you’re paralyzed? Do you ever turn to literature, art or myth for models or instruction on how to go about your work (or life) in a meaningful way? What keeps you going?


2 thoughts on “Inertia: What’s Under the Writer’s Hood?

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