ImageGeorge Plimpton — a founder of The Paris Review — writing in PEN America 4: Fact/Fiction explained how he overcame writer’s block:

Many years ago, I met John Steinbeck at a party in Sag Harbor, and told him that I had writer’s block. And he said something which I’ve always remembered, and which works. He said, “Pretend that you’re writing not to your editor or to an audience or to a readership, but to someone close, like your sister, or your mother, or someone that you like.” And at the time I was enamored of Jean Seberg, the actress, and I had to write an article about taking Marianne Moore to a baseball game, and I started it off, “Dear Jean…,” and wrote this piece with some ease, I must say. And to my astonishment that’s the way it appeared in Harper’s Magazine. “Dear Jean…” Which surprised her, I think, and me, and very likely Marianne Moore.

Photo: Jean Seberg in a scene from Breathless (1960)