Evelyn Waugh – Born October 28, 1903. Died April 10, 1966
I was listening to an old radio interview with the English writer Evelyn Waugh a couple of nights back on BBC Radio 4 extra, first recorded in the nineteen fifties. He is probably best known for the iconic television series Brideshead Revisited. Towards the end of the interview he was asked if writing got any easier as he grew older. I thoroughly agreed with him when he said, “No. The older I get, the harder it is to write.”
While I’m no Eveylyn Waugh by any stretch of the imagination, the older I get the more I go through the same thing he did. Does it mean I’ve come to a grinding halt? No. Perhaps I have run out of ideas? No. Maybe I’m bored with it? No. Could it be that I’m suffering from procrastination? No.
What it does mean however is that with eleven books of mine out there in reader-land for you to be getting on with, I am in no hurry to begin the twelfth. Like all other serious writers, I strive to improve with each new book. I used to write for between 8-12 hours per day. It may come as a surprise but writers don’t just write. Like you, we have a life. Daily word counts no longer matter to me the way they did twenty-two years ago. What does is the way I construct the words and their relevance to the story as a whole. Plus, unless I’m in the mood to write, it simply doesn’t happen.
With each chapter, each paragraph, each sentence I write, they no longer flow freely. Instead I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to say. More importantly, how I want to go about it. The fact that I haven’t written another word apart from here on my blog since last year, is neither here nor there. When the mood takes me, I’ll get back to it. But not before.
With science fiction being my first love, I found and posted a quote from Ray Bradbury on my Face Book page a while ago. Here it is:
My sentiments exactly Ray. I couldn’t have said it better myself…
PS -here is a possible idea for another science fiction tale i’m considering at the moment. Whether or not I use it is yet to be decided!
It began with the assertions made by the world’s climatologists that man is responsible for climate change. It ended when mother nature proved them wrong…