In his brilliant new book, On Poetry, Glyn Maxwell invents an imaginative exercise designed to help the poet put some black marks onto white paper:
Take nine sheets of blank paper and pretend the following things about them:
That the first page is physically hurt by your every word.
That the second page is turned on by every syllable.
That every mark on the third page makes you remember more.
On the fourth, less, like dementia.
That God can only hear you if you're writing on the fifth page.
That only touching the sixth page are you hidden from God.
That every word you write on the seventh prolongs the time from now until the moment you meet that mythical creature known as The One.
That every word you write on the eighth brings that moment closer, yes, but makes your time together shorter.
The ninth page says you have only nine words left in your life.
I was reminded once more of Jack Kerouac's writing tips.