‘Like a coiling spring’


From an interview with John McPhee in the current Paris Review:

It may sound like I???ve got some sort of formula by which I write. Hell, no! You???re out there completely on your own???all you???ve got to do is write. OK, it???s nine in the morning. All I???ve got to do is write. But I go hours before I???m able to write a word. I make tea. I mean, I used to make tea all day long. And exercise, I do that every other day. I sharpened pencils in the old days when pencils were sharpened. I just ran pencils down. Ten, eleven, twelve, one, two, three, four???this is every day. This is damn near every day. It???s four-thirty and I???m beginning to panic. It???s like a coiling spring. I???m really unhappy. I mean, you???re going to lose the day if you keep this up long enough. Five: I start to write. Seven: I go home. That happens over and over and over again. So why don???t I work at a bank and then come in at five and start writing? Because I need those seven hours of gonging around. I???m just not that disciplined. I don???t write in the morning???I just try to write.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s