Sebastian Faulks On Finding Excuses Not To Write

Sebastian Faulks On Finding Excuses Not To Write

We share a piece from British author, Sebastian Faulks on finding excuses not to write.

Sebastian Faulks is a British author who was born on 20 April 1953. He is best known for his historical novels, which include BirdsongCharlotte Gray, and The Girl at the Lion d’Or. His latest novel is Paris Echo.

Sebastian Faulks was the first literary editor of “The Independent”, and then went on to become deputy editor of “The Sunday Independent”. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1993 and appointed CBE for services to literature in 2002.

In a piece he wrote for The Guardian he writes about the many distractions that keep him from writing, including emails to answer, friends to be met, plays to attend, and events at bookshops to attend. And many more.

Sebastian Faulks On Finding Excuses Not To Write – 5 Quotes

  1. ‘Another good way of not writing is doing “research”. I spent two months in Paris earlier this year, wandering the streets and looking for people to have dinner with. You end up saying yes to everything. A nice woman at the American library asked if I would come and talk to her writing group on a houseboat.’
  2. ‘Writing articles for newspapers about writing books – that also helpfully takes up writing time. Asking myself if I have a “routine” has become the only writing routine I still have. I wish I could remember otherwise, but answering the question so often has erased the memory of any regular procedure.’
  3. ‘Another excellent way of not writing is to update your website. There are so many parts of it that need attention now – the last three novels are lacking summaries, the audio-visual is out of date and so on.’
  4. ‘Going on Twitter is helpful, too, as I can then link into learned articles recommended by people I follow. I like to read about the Sykes-Picot pact. This often takes up more time than the compulsory Times crossword.’
  5. ‘In summer the test matches demand commitment. If I leave the room before Joe Root is established at the crease I feel it’s my fault if he’s out cheaply and a middle order collapse follows. Joe needs my active support. Regrettably, the aggressive style of modern cricket means the five-day matches seldom go the distance, so there is, hypothetically, a danger of doing some writing on a Monday. But the email backlog takes care of that.’

Once upon a time

He wasn’t always like that, though. Faulks says, ‘Once I used to draw the curtains, put in earplugs, take the phone off the hook, and make tea in a Thermos so there was no excuse to leave the desk. Once, on a roll with Human Traces, I even toyed with the idea of installing a catheter.’

But, is not writing all the time really that bad?

Maybe, not being an obsessive-compulsive writer is a good thing.

As he says, ‘What sort of existence is that? Drilling down 50 fathoms into the internal lives of people who don’t exist? Not writing, by contrast, is more various and more challenging. It’s a life.’

Read the full article here: The Guardian

Source for author photo screenshot: Telegraph

TIP: If you want help writing a book, buy The Novel Writing Exercises Workbook.

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th April 2019