so how exactly does this guy do it?

OK, writer friends, pre-published authors, and those with the writing dream in their hearts: please read this interview with Iain Banks and help me understand this one thing:

What is his secret?

My Friday Five:
1. Finish the draft.
2. Finish the draft.
3. Finish the draft.
4. Finish the draft.
5. Finish the draft.

ETA: Our Ambassador has delivered his first message to us, his people.

10 Replies to “so how exactly does this guy do it?”

  1. Fear

    It sounds to me as if his secret is that he isn’t afraid: Isn’t afraid he isn’t good enough, isn’t afraid of a bad first draft, isn’t afraid his genre isn’t cool, isn’t afraid to take the time to gather wool for the next one.


  2. That’s a wonderful interview! Wow, a writer without one ounce of artist-angst. Could my writing life ever look like that? Unlikely, but it’s something to aspire to.

  3. Re: Mr. Banks

    I was going to say the same thing! I’m going, is this a guy who purposely lies to interviewers in order to make the rest of us hard-workin cretins bang our heads on our keyboards in pure, unadulterated jealousy? I’m never buying his books again!

    (Though to be honest, I never knew who he was to even buy his books in the first place ….)

  4. Re: Mr. Banks

    That’s interesting. I took his comments at face value, but then again I don’t find the first draft to be all that difficult to write. The editing, now that’s different — my writing angst rears its head during that process more often than I like to admit.

  5. I love this quote from the interview:

    What good advice was given to you when you were starting out?

    I never got any. I didn’t know any writers and wasn’t aware of there being any books that told you how to write. Even if I had been, I was probably too convinced of my own genius to read them! I could have done with some advice though.

  6. His secret sounds like “I write because I enjoy it and it’s easy for me.” I took what he said at face value as well, with very little hidden meanings, or double talk, in what he was saying.

    Course, I could be dead wrong. *srughs* his secret is his alone, I rather concern myself with my own secret to writing rather than worry about how someone else can do it.

  7. Re: Mr. Banks

    Funny how writers usually lean one way or the other on this. I have to drag my editor out from under the stairs and use much bribery.

  8. I just got back from the SCBWI 9th Annual Winter Conference in NYC and I found it reassuring to hear Susan Patron (the 2007 Newbery Winner) talk about her own fear of being a 1 hit wonder. Carolyn Mackler talked about how postpartum depression almost tanked her and the room was full of 800 people trying to figure out how to be the next Laurie Halse Anderson.

    I think most of us have our moments of wondering if we live on a different planet then the rest of the world, but I also think we have our moments where we know our words are preordained to one day make an impact. That’s probably what makes us quirky enough to write…I think Iain must have his own brand of quirky success ;o).

    At the end of the day all I know is that I kissed Richard Peck and I am in LOVE!!!!!!! If you have never listened to this amazing icon or kissed him on the cheek…well I highly recommend it….my writer’s battery has been completely and utterly recharged.

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