It’s been one of those weeks where, on reflection, I would say that I’ve got no writing done at all. Sure, I’ve written stuff; in fact I’ve been busy writing stuff all week. But I’ve made very little progress with the actual writing of the new novel and there’s been almost no output of a creative nature (by that I mean made up). However, when I think about it, I haven’t been idle.
If you want to succeed as a writer, you have to read. All the advice from the experts is the same: Read. Make time for it; enjoy it; learn from it.
Discovering a new author is thrilling; I have to read their entire back catalogue as soon as possible. The excitement I get from reading a truly great book is, funnily enough, beyond words. It’s one of the most satisfying things I know. I couldn’t put it better than Holden Caulfield, J D Salinger’s protagonist in ‘Catcher in the Rye.’
‘What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”
Obviously, I’m endeavouring to be that special author, but simultaneously I’m a devoted reader and it all takes time, which I never have quite enough of. I wish there were 26 hours in a day and 8 days in a week. I wish I was independently wealthy and didn’t need to go to work – it seriously impedes my writerly progress.