An Abrasive Hour-Write and Humility before Novelists


I try every morning regardless of my mood to write for just an hour; one hour, that’s all I ask; an hour’s point of inner-argument to smooth out any wrinkles of guilt I suffer about being unproductive: watching the Ghost Hunters marathon, the extra downloaded episode of Dr Who – at least I wrote for an hour. And today’s hour-write was just abrasive, like walking barefoot on salt-rock. The result was three pages affixed to a part-two of a chapter of Doranchorn in which there is a debate as to the virtues of putting a baby to sleep with alcohol and a sudden rainstorm.

For me, this is an important and humbling practice that engenders respect not for the craft of writing, but for the discipline of it. I admire and am in awe of the prolific authors: story is the most invaluable, and I presume the ability to tell it is less-so ‘learned’ than absorbed through reading and experience, although there is certainly some rhetoric-skill to be had; but the capability of writing two-hundred or three-hundred pages – especially if in a short time frame – says plenty about work ethic and drive, and makes Giants of writerly folk.


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