Wild Thing: On Writing and Not Writing

Here is some great insight from an experienced writer.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz Jarrell_Headshot copy Andrea Jarrell

By Andrea Jarrell

After 30 years of sitting at a desk, making my living as a writer, I truly appreciate how physical writing is: pushing pen across paper, fingers tapping a keyboard, the trapezius knot balling up just above my right shoulder-blade, tender to the touch.

There’s the quickened pulse and rapid breath as I free-write, afraid my hand won’t move fast enough to pin all the wings of flighty thoughts to the page. And the itch-I-can’t-quite-scratch writing of an essay when the draft is getting closer and closer—akin to the verge of sexual climax—urging me to focus and let go at the same time, to arrive at what I mean to say. And then, like a safecracker turning tumblers, there is the satisfying click I feel in my gut when I know the prose I’ve written for one of my university clients will indeed move donors to…

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