'The stern Bard ceas'd, asham'd of his own song; enraged he swung
His harp aloft sounding, then dash'd its shining frame against
A ruin'd pillar in glittering fragments, silent he turned away,
And wander'd down among the vales of Kent in sick and drear lamentings.'
I've been reading Peter Ackroyd's biography of William Blake (Vintage Books, 1995) and the above is quoted on page 71. It is somehow comforting to read Blake's own testament to his fearsome frustrations with his writing and his experience of what must have been almost writer's block.
So even the most famous, prolific and spiritually fuelled, sometimes doubt. And, of course, in his lifetime, Blake did not have the recognition he got after his death. He was sustained by friends and a few connoisseurs, furthermore, he believed his creativity was God-given.
What am I sustained by? I don't subscribe to Blake's God, but I do have a compulsion to keep writing, to continue experimenting and giving my ideas free rein. I am also encouraged by good friends and, like Blake, I am moved by nature. At the moment, I am fascinated by trees, how tall and abundant they grow, their colours and shapes. Though sometimes I study them and think that there is little point in trying to replicate what so magnificently exists in reality.