. . . novelists . . . have, on average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdales’s department store. our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anyone can do it. All it takes is time.
—Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday, 128
I once stayed in a hotel, next door to a well-known writer.
He never talked about writing.
Each night I heard his typewriter,
hour after hour,
Everyone else in the hotel was asleep.
The sound of that machine reminds me, still,
that what writers do is write.