Monday, August 06, 2007

Clive James on writing

On the ABC's Talking Heads program tonight, guest Clive James was asked about how he deals with writer's block. His answer: "No, I've never had a long block. And the reason... The way I've actually developed as a writer, over the years, is I've learned not to panic when it won't come. Because when it doesn't come, that's part of the process. That tension of not being able to do it means somewhere in your brain you're sorting out something that's too complex for immediate expression, but it will be when it's sorted itself out. The expression "sleep on it" comes out. Sometimes I work in my sleep - I know I do - because I wake up more capable of expressing what I have to say. But to become a professional writer, it's necessary to reach the stage where you can live with the tension when it's not happening, because that's part of the process."

You can read the transcript of the interview on the ABC site here.

3 comments:

Snail said...

Saw that Clive James interview. Love hearing/reading about the creative process. I've just discovered that driving long distances can be useful for picking out tangles in plot threads. Not very practical as an everyday solution, though.

Sherryl said...

Aha, Snail - you have returned from the wilds of North Queensland?

Snail said...

I have indeed. And now I need a holiday!