• Henry Martin

The art of writing

Updated: May 6

Thoughts on #writing via Chad Harbach.

Photo credit: Matt McGee, 2006.


This passage from #ChadHarbach's #TheArtOfFielding perfectly describes the challenges in #composing sentences. It also hints at the exhaustion of writing and the dedication that the craft demands.


"It was easy enough to write a sentence, but if you were going to create a work of art, the way #Melville had, each sentence needed to fit perfectly with the one that preceded it, and the unwritten one that would follow. And each of those sentences needed to square with the ones on either side, so that three became five and five became seven, seven became nine and whichever sentence he was writing became the slender fulcrum on which the whole precarious edifice depended. The sentence could contain anything, anything, and so it promised the kind of absolute freedom that, to Affenlight's mind, belonged to the artist and the artist alone. And yet that sentence was also beholden to the book's very first one, and its last unwritten one, and every sentence inbetween. Every phrase, every word, exhausted him. He thought maybe the problem was the noise of the city, and his dull day job, and his drinking; he gave up his room and rented an outbuilding on an Iowa farm run by hippies. There, alone with his anxious thoughts, he felt much worse"
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