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'Win or lose, you have to be in the game to play it and writing is a game which can deepen and enrich any player's experience, moment by moment. We can all feel we're not really up to it on any given day – and sometimes we're right, we should take a break. But not writing – that would be like not speaking, not touching, not kissing. Pauses are probably unavoidable, but perhaps use yours, enjoy them, shorten them until you can find their edge. We might look at it like this – kissing is good, but kissing after five or 10 seconds of well-informed waiting – that can be better. Onwards.'

AL Kennedy, on writing and procrastination