I finished reading One Continuous Mistake with grim satisfaction, climbed my hard hill, refused to give up, even when Gail Sher failed to comfort me, got my hard insights and not one moment of enthusiasm or joy. How can anybody live like this? I want to wail. I (meanly) picture her shaving her head, chewing slowly, kneeling in front of her mat, day after day, lecturing sternly about silence, worshipping the space between words, waiting in austere stillness for the right moment to begin.

She gives me stark insights, stretches my mind in unexpected ways, takes me places I would not have gone, ever. Today: great ideas are the enemy of true, spontaneous writing. The more you cling to or carry the great idea, bending under its weight, loyal to its promise, the less you have left over for surprise, the true moment, the unexpected.