Out the back door and under the big ash was a picnic table. At the end of summer, 1966, I lay down on it for nearly two weeks, staring up into branches and leaves, fighting fear and panic, because I had no idea where of how to begin a piece of writing for The New Yorker. I went inside for lunch, surely, and at night, of course, but otherwise remained flat on my back on the table.
I really liked this piece in the New Yorker, do read it if you can. Structure is my main preoccupation when it comes to writing and I enjoyed McPhee's extremely methodical (almost mechanical) approach and his rejection of chronology (always the first question I asked myself when I wrote an essay about the past - how do I get rid of time?).