Saturday, November 30, 2013

A gift from Nicholson Baker — who looks a lot like Santa Claus now

Nicholson Baker (Credit: AP/Pat Wellenbach/Salon) via Salon

“It’s very hard to put it in practice if you’re busy doing other things. For a while I was working with old newspapers; we were taking care of them in New Hampshire and people were coming to visit me as I played the role of an amateur librarian and I was asking people to help out with funding, so I had to get up very early in order to write every day. More recently, I have begun to realize that one writes in bursts. When you’re in the middle of writing a book, it’s very exciting and consuming and you think about nothing else, and then there are other periods where you are doing something else — I might be trying to write a song or maybe traveling places, giving readings or something, so I fudge a lot where I think, 'OK, did you write anything, did you write a text? Did you write an email? Did you write just notes on a scrap of paper? Did you write something?' So that’s how I get around it sometimes, by stretching the definition.
     Paul Chowder, the protagonist of my new novel, Traveling Sprinkler, is my soul mate and most of what is going through his head is also going through my head, although in sexual situations we’re a little different. But the thing that I found about writing is it’s wonderfully wasteful and that’s part of the usefulness of it. If you write every day, you’re going to write a lot of things that aren’t terribly good, but you’re going to have given things a chance to have their moments of sprouting.”
— Nicholson Baker, Salon

See a related post about Nicholson Baker’s latest book here…

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