When I'm finding it difficult to write, I read about writing instead. It's a wonderful way to avoid the issue whilst feeling like I'm addressing it, and although it usually twists little thorns of self-hatred into my procrastinating heart, once in a while it can both comfort and catalyse. My usual strategy, after having sat for a few minutes with my fingers quivering above the keyboard as if I were bloody David Helfgott contemplating Rach 3, is to shy like a pony and slope off for a dose of Why I Write and Writers' Rooms from the Guardian archives. Compulsively consuming the details of Sebastian Faulks's unstylish study, or Alan Garner's erratic daily routine, provides sweet reassurance that even brilliant, long-practiced writers fidget, stare out the window and get tempted by Spider Solitaire.
Last night, my virtual trawl came up with something that actually made me down tabs and put pixel to pixel there and then. Although TEDTalks are reliably good, my natural English scoffery instinctively rebels against their can-do, faux-chummy Powerpoint verve. But this little gem from Elizabeth Gilbert, on 'having' not 'being' a creative genius - and developing the guts to talk back to it - is inspiring, empowering and playful, however much I would still like to cleave to the excuse of being an emotionally tortured vessel of God . And double yay for the Tom Waites nod.
Don't be afraid, Blonde. Just keep showing up.