Distraction: why novels need the time to grow.

There is a phrase I’ve heard muttered a lot about writing.  It goes something like this.  If you want to be a writer then you must read, write, read, write, read, write, read, write, read, write… so on.

Now I agree, you must read a lot, and you must write a lot; similar to being a brain surgeon, I suppose: it probably helps if you practice surgery and operate on brains.  Right?  Good, glad we’re all in the same place.  But I do think that there is something fundamental missing in the quote above, (can’t remember who said it originally).  I think you need to have time to live, too, otherwise surely you become a writer who writes about a writer who writes in his bedroom writing about writers!

As it is at the moment I have managed to write two novels in about four years, which isn’t an amazing rate, but isn’t too bad, considering I also work full time and have a few other creative hobbies that my time is split between (writing is number one, though); and I’d love to spend more time on my writing; but the time spent in-between is where the ideas come from.

I suppose though that if you concentrate on reading, writing, reading, writing, reading, writing… so on… then life will happen anyway; it’ll still continue to happen around you no matter how much you try to write.  I think what I’m trying to say is that the writer differs from the Brain Surgeon in this way:  The Surgeon needs only to know the brain, what to cut, what to prod etc (and I’m not trying to simplify brain surgery; it was just the firs example I could think of).  But writing, certainly to me, is about life.  Life is what we are trying to decipher when we put pen to paper, or finger to key.  Without experiencing life there is no writing.

Still, I suppose that with no life, there’s probably no need for brain surgery either; they’d be dead.



P.S I am just expressing opinions here.  I am not a published writer, so I might just be talking shit.

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