After having done what I imagine to be my utmost, [I realize] that it won’t do at all. I decide to convert the quiet, static picture in front of me into a live, careless, free and easy thing. I strike out boldly with whatever comes to hand — pencil, crayon, brush, charcoal, ink — anything which will demolish the studied effect obtained and give me fresh ground for experiment. I used to think that the striking results obtained in this fashion were due to accident, but I no longer am of this mind. Not only do I know today that it is the method employed by some very famous painters…, but, I recognize that it is often the same method which I employ in writing. I don’t go over my canvas, in writing…, but I keep breaking new ground until I reach the level of exact expression, leaving all the trials and gropings there, but raising them in a sort of spiral circumnavigation, until they make a solid under-body or under-pinning, whatever the case may be. And this, I notice, is precisely the ritual of life which is practiced by the (one) who evolves. (One) doesn’t go back, figuratively, to correct errors and defects: (one) transposes and converts them into virtues. (One) makes wings of (one's) larval cerements.
- Henry Miller, adapted