Thursday, October 12, 2006

Writers' rituals

In The Times, eight writers, including William Boyd, reveal their routines.
I tend to write in the afternoons, between lunch and cocktail hour. I used to feel terrified about the house burning down and my manuscript being destroyed, so I kept it in the fridge. A fridge will protect anything, even an atomic bomb blast apparently.

I belong to that pre-computer generation, and a lot of my contemporaries still write in longhand — Julian Barnes, Martin Amis. I think there is something special about the brain-hand interface, certain cadences. I do notice a difference in prose style from stuff typed on to a screen. There is something about preserving that old connection. I am sure I will never let it go.
There's more in a similar vein from blogger and writer, Billy Mernit, about having music on while writing.
Some prefer caffeine. Some have (infamously) depended on alcohol, others even a toke or a toot. But out of all the stimulants I’ve ever heard of writers using to help practice and sustain their craft, the overwhelming drug of choice appears to be music.

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