On starting from a conceptual viewpoint

by look i have opinions

“I learned this a long time ago, at great cost […] if I start from a conceptual viewpoint, or even an aspirational or thematic viewpoint, I, I … come to a dead end, I can’t do it. So the real idea was just at any given time to sort of say, ‘Okay, I need a ghost stage left,’ and just turn my attention there with as little, ah, intention as possible. Just almost like you’re trying to listen to this figure. Ah, it really is a form of verbal improv. And what you’re banking on there is that your subconscious is far enough ahead of you that the voice it provides will not be random.”

—George Saunders (x)