David Auerbach on literature, tech, film, etc.

Writer’s Block

After the war, Wilfrid Sellars and his wife Mary, who was now successfully writing short stories, resolved to write for up to ten hours every day to get Wilfrid over his writing block. Eventually in 1947 there appeared the first of what was thereafter to be a steady outpouring of deep and challenging articles for the remainder of his highly successful academic career.

James O’Shea, Wilfrid Sellars


  1. TEN HOURS, oof

  2. All the more impressive since he seems to have spent most of this time producing endless drafts…

    “I began to write a paper, catch as catch can, pushing ahead, letting the argument go where it would — almost in the spirit of writing an examination. I then made marginal comments and criticisms, after which I rewrote it in the same spirit. As I remember it, the paper started out to be about names, the given, and existential quantification. Three months and ten drafts later it began to be ‘Realism and the New Way of Words.’ Rewriting large chunks of it at a time became a way of life. Some seventeen major revisions occurred before it finally appeared in print.”


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