Toward the end of the Year of Pretending to Write a Book, an interview on All Things Considered caught my attention. The man being interviewed was described as a consultant and counselor to creative people struggling with the Affliction That Must Not Be Named. He knew about this malady because he is a writer himself.

He talked about his work with musicians and screenwriters and novelists and painters. I was uncertain if he might have great wisdom to share with a butler and general yardman who was pretending to write a book, but I listened anyway. Listening to people talk about writing was as close as I cam to participating in the literary life in those days. Listening to someone talk about writing was the only thing that made me feel like a writer.

I sat down to listen on the cool hardwood floor outside the room where I was supposed to be writing.

– Robert Benson, from “Dancing on the Head of a Pen”