have a break: get to work.


PG Wodehouse (there on the right; isn’t he cute?) “wrote his first story aged five. When describing what he might have been doing before he was five, he wrote ‘Oh, just loafing, I suppose’.”

Ms Baroque dictated her first story aged four. It was about a fairy. She was “very, very old. She was 24.”

Wodehouse worked, it is said, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and his idea of taking a holiday was “writing plays or lyrics instead of a novel.” I can well believe that. Writing fiction seems like incredibly – even pointlessly – hard work compared to the sheer thrill of writing poetry. When I’ve written half a scene of fiction I have to go have a sleep. (And from the playwright in my midst I gather the same applies to that too, thrill-wise, though he assures me it is hard work.) (But the thrill is there, at least in the reading. I know it is in the writing too, I’ve seen it.) So, you novelists out there, how is it for you? Hard work, from which you relax by producing difficult pieces of art?

I’ve just spent two days working on my Henry & Oscar, which is going to be a pamphlet with the lovely Rack Press in January, and I now feel utterly exhilarated. And full of plans for more, more, more.

If I was Wodehouse it would make me rich.

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