Thursday, April 26, 2012

The first thing that distinguishes a writer...


Do you need complete isolation to write or is it more portable than that?


I can write in the midst of—not very conveniently—but I can make progress in the midst of the usual family clamor. But it has to be said, perhaps with some regret, that the first thing that distinguishes a writer is that he is most alive when alone, most fully alive when alone. A tolerance for solitude isn’t anywhere near the full description of what really goes on. The most interesting things happen to you when you are alone. 

(More from Amis's Paris Review interview here.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Best Time of Day to Write?

These days, for me, there isn’t much of a choice.

The answer to this question is: whenever I can.

Mostly my writing happens in little snippets, here and there, an hour or two, three if I’m lucky.

During the week that means at night or some occasional hurried lunch-hour scribbling. On weekends, sometimes I’ll take the kids to grandma’s house and escape to a cafĂ© for a couple of hours (or however long my laptop battery will last). And sometimes, if at home, I’ll keep the Word doc with my novel open on my computer, returning periodically throughout the day and savoring any and all progress, even if it’s just honing and improving a single paragraph I’ve already revised dozens of times.

But the best, ideal writing time for me is, always has been, morning. Not long after waking up. Post-coffee, pre-shower. When you’re still groggy and not completely awake, when the mind is hazy and receptive, when it’s easier to stave off doubt and despair and keep your internal editor at bay, when the creativity flows better and unexpected things invariably happen, and you’re not so concerned with where you’re going and what’s working/not working—the journey, the words, the sentence you’re working on at that very moment is more than enough to sustain you.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2/29/2012 11:04 PM

That's the last time I worked on my novel.

Hopefully that will change today.

It's hard to dip back in after you haven't done anything for a long stretch of time.

You feel so far away.

You feel like you've lost the momentum.

You feel like you've forgotten how to write.

You feel like it, the novel, will all collapse (again) because of the lack of progress.

You're afraid.

But then you just start.