A New Pen, A Fresh Notepad and a Packet Of Biscuits: How Different Authors Write

Me and a close friend recently joked that we should just buy a notebook and some biscuits and just write out of the blue. This is often the best way to write- when you have a sudden thought or inspiration. For example, I’ve started writing a much larger serious piece of writing, and I’m about 20,000 words into it (I’m not saying anymore about it!) and I was making my dinner the next day, when I suddenly grabbed a pen out of the “messy drawer” and started jotting things down on a piece of kitchen tissue paper. Of course, I have paper, but at the time that was the closest thing that I physically had near me, and so I thought it will be interesting to look at how different authors write- such as the different times of day or if they set themselves a word count that they must reach.

Stephen King sets out a target of two thousand words a day, and he says that he will not stop writing whatever it is that he is writing until he has reached his target. However, he says that the best way to become to good writer is to read for four to six hours a day. When he was asked on what he classed as a talented reader he replied along the lines of “If you could pay just one bill with it, and no more, after receiving a cheque, you’re talented.”

Road Dahl wrote in a traditional gypsy style caravan in his back garden, and it was here that he wrote some of his most famous children’s novels. ‘Danny And The Champion Of The World” featured a gypsy style caravan too, which was inspired by his own.

J.K.Rowling was at first known to write in cafes whenever it was that she could get her young daughter to fall to sleep in her pushchair, and it was then that she would “dart in the nearest cafe and write”. After she had become more famous and recognised she found it difficult to write in public, naturally. She then wrote at home during the late hours of the night. She finished the last Harry Potter book, ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows” whilst in a hotel room that she decided she would go and not be disturbed. However, she now said that she writes whilst her children are at school, only stopping during the middle of the day to make herself a sandwich.

However, whilst all of these seem to sound good, King, Dahl and Rowling are all published authors, and have the luxury of being able to write full time as their job. It’s much more difficult for people who can’t stay at home just writing all day.

Personally, I write late in the evening, and occasionally early in the morning. Although I may write a small chapter (that often needs to be expanded and rewritten) on my mobile phone on the bus, or on a piece of napkin paper!

Do you write? If so, comment and let us know how you do it, and we might put a small collection of the responses on a post shortly!

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