Thursday, 14 June 2007

Write stuff

The Guardian's Sarah Kinson interviewed authors on their motivation and the mechanics of writing. Here are the responses of three of them to the question Do you find writing easy?

No. It's like carving in granite. The marks you make on the page are the last stage of the process. I'm in my 51st year of doing nothing but write and for me, the period of not-writing has got longer, and the period of writing has got shorter. My last book took ten years but it was written in five months - all at the end. The writing part is like tying the parcel - it is not putting the parcel together.

It gets harder and harder. Every day is a turning point. Every day I have to force myself to go and write, and every day (more or less) I still do

I'm afraid I'm in agreement with Lionel Shriver - that writing is mainly dull, and if you've got any self-respect you'll throw most of it away. It never gets any easier, although it is less frightening. The turning point in my career was certainly winning the Whitbread first novel award


Mike said...

That's hardly encouraging. I've always felt the same way but held out hope that at some point, writing would become easier. So much for that idea!

Disgusted of The Bronx

Tracey said...

As a counterpoint to Mike's comments, I'd like to say I find it quite encouraging because it tells me that if I feel I'm struggling to get words on the page, which sometimes I do, it means I'm doing something right. Or at least that nothing's wrong.

Snail said...

Don't be disheartened, Mike! If good writing were easy, everybody would be doing it.