On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

time time time

A question that's often asked is: 'So how do you write? Are you disciplined?' My answer is always: 'Obsessive, actually.' I treat time like there's never, ever going to be enough of it, but if I have too much time I worry too, as if time, that elastic commodity, will stretch on and on and that the writing of the book will expand too, endlessly. Perfect writing time is framed time, lots of it. For me, writing time has to be hemmed in, so that it feels like a precious commodity, but so that there's enough of those patches of time for me to feel secure that I don't have to panic or rush, both of which are enemies of good writing. But I feel about writing the same way as I do about any other activity, there must be a limit. I will be much happier gardening for an hour than for an afternoon; shopping until eleven than all day; reading for half an hour. So with writing. Limitless time is intimidating.

Now I wonder what that's about. Is it to do with having been a pupil and then a teacher, and having life divided up by bells? Is it about being a bit of a split personality and loving to be sociable one minute, solitary the next? Or is it simply a nagging sensation that whatever one is doing one has to be useful, and that any activity by itself, whatever it is, is not quite useful enough? Bizarre. But at least, in my choppy life, I come to my writing fresh each time, as if I've not been there for ages, and may never return.

No comments:

Post a Comment