Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
It turns out that the fellow who wrote The Remains of The Day (Kazuo Ishiguro) did so in a month-long frenzy of trancelike composition he and his wife referred to as The Crash. He wasn’t making much progress in his work before that and couldn’t seem to live up to his own critical reputation, so he went radical on himself and concocted this scheme in which he’d write for umpteen hours a day without distractions. He’d do it for four weeks. He’d break only for meals, and his wife would just have to bear with him. And he succeeded. He went a little nuts, but he succeeded, and the result was The Remains of The Day — easily his best known work.
This is why writers sometimes come off as a tad eccentric. To accomplish a novel, the writer has to seriously dedicate himself to it, think about it to the exclusion of almost everything else, sequester himself in a room with his writing tools and his imagination, and chisel his way through the rock that’s hiding a gem somewhere inside. It ain’t pretty. There was a time when I would get up at 4:30 in the morning to ply my scribbling trade, and I’d show up at work bleary-eyed but jazzed that I’d been able to push through a couple thousand words that morning. I did this for several years, and though the books I wrote in those days have never been published, they served as effective rehearsals.
I’m not sure I could do what Ishiguro did, which in a way was something of a NaNoWriMo of his own. I’m awfully fond of my daily routine. Through it, I’ve learned that if there’s some kind of mental obstacle in getting a book onto paper, then that particular book just has to wait.
How’s about you? Ever punish yourself — and your family — by doing an Ishiguro?