“If I Can’t Walk, I Can’t Write.”

Where were you going? Nowhere in particular. No errand, no appointment. Just strolling along, hands in pockets, savoring the street. It was your thing: If I can’t walk, I can’t write. You would work in the morning, and at a certain point, which always came, when it seemed you were incapable of writing a sentence, you would go out and walk for miles. When you came back, you would sit down again to work, trying to hold on to the rhythm that had been established while walking. And the better you succeeded at that, the better the writing.

Because it’s all about the rhythm, you said. Good sentences start with a beat.

—From Sigrid Nunez, author of The Blind,  in the Paris Review.

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