Tove Jansson on Writer’s Block


Best of 2019

We’re away until January 6, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2019. Enjoy your holiday!

Tove Jansson

I’m sitting comfortably parked on a bench in a little park behind Saint-Sulpice and I’m supposed to find something to write about. It’s very quiet here. Pigeons copulate on a patch of grass, some tourists catch their breath on the benches across from me, an organ plays behind my back, far away.

A clochard comes every now and then and bothers the tourists—he explains, at length, that he also understands Italian. I just keep quiet, and eventually he goes away.

I can’t comprehend why this has to be so hard; one should be able to write just about anything at any time, in a purely professional way.

(I wonder how it is for other people.)

For the time being I have only written the date on the first page of my notepad but that was yesterday.