The Feral Animal

Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, wrote an accurate description of what it is like for an author to get back to a writing that has been paused.

A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild stage overnight. It is barely domesticated, a mustang on which you one day fastened a halter, but which now you cannot catch. It is a lion you cage in your study. As the work grows, it gets harder to control; it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, “Simba!

Annie Dillard
The Writing Life

Yeah! That’s exactly what it’s like!

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Categories: Annie Dillard, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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