I spent the rest of the day flipping through my favorite novels and old issues of The New Yorker, pausing to write down words that inspired me, and then watching certain parts of films I loved, freezing the frame to investigate, when there was a book, or, even better, a bookcase in the background of the scene—all in a hopeful attempt to tap into the internal well of my own words. Time to write. As evening fell, I uncapped a new black pen from my shoulder bag and brought the tip to the smooth, yellowish surface of a fresh page in my Moleskine notebook. But twenty minutes passed, and the page was still unblemished, except for the thickening freckle of ink from the bleeding tip of my motionless pen. I picked up my notebook, brought it close to my face, and rapidly flipped through it, fanning myself with its sweet-smelling paper. I paced around the living room, went out to the balcony to stare at the sea and then back into the kitchen, where I filled a kettle with water for some tea and set it over the blue flame. I sat back down at the living-room table. OK—now it’s really time to write.
— Isn’t It Pretty To Think So? (page 130)