Joe Hill …
Joseph Hillstrom King (born June 4, 1972), better known by the pen name Joe Hill, is an American author and comic book writer. He has published four novels—Heart-Shaped Box (2007), Horns (2010), NOS4A2 (2013) and The Fireman (2016) — a collection of short stories titled 20th Century Ghosts (2005) and another collection Strange Weather (2017). He is also the Eisner Award-winning author of the comic book series Locke & Key. He is the son of author Stephen King.
In. 2011, on a visit to London, he spoke about his work routine.
You need to be able to sit there for six hours a day, and at the end of the day be able to walk away and let it go. You have to have a kind of blissful acceptance that you might spend two months writing a hundred pages and then throw the whole thing away in a single day. In the book I’m working on now – which is coming together great; I’m going to read some of it tonight at Waterstone’s – there’s this one part that’s about 180 pages long, about the bad guy. And I re-wrote it about three times and thought about it very carefully, and I think it’s a really good piece of work, and decided about a month ago to slash the whole thing.
I don’t religiously do six hours a day, but I set myself goals. With this draft – it sounds like I’m making processed meat – but I will process ten pages a day. If I get them done in two hours, great. If it takes me six hours, OK. If it takes me eight I’ll do it, but I try not to work that long because I think there tends to be a fall-off. I do work on the weekends though. Maybe not six hours, but I don’t like to let something go because then I’ll waste a day trying to get back up to speed. The other thing is, if I haven’t worked at all I feel restless and kind of out of sorts, and I’m grumpy with people, so I don’t feel centred and like myself until I’ve got my work out of the way.
He also described his office space …
One time I wrote this comic where a kid uses an impossible key to unlock his head. Inside his head there’s a secret world, filled with dinosaurs and legos and space invaders and so on. It’s a mindscape, crowded with the stuff he loves and obsesses over. My office is kind of the same way for me… a rough approximation of what’s in my head, given physical form. The walls are covered in book covers and comic book art. There are framed poems by Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, flanking the stairwell. There’s a bookshelf called The Shelf of Ten and on it are the next ten books I’m going to read, in the order I want to read them. There’s another shelf for all the books written by my dad and mom and brother. There’s a door, built by a sculptor named Israel Skelton, called the Ghost Door, based on something from the comic, LOCKE & KEY.
The psychic center of the room is the desk against the western facing wall. I’ve had the desk for going on sixteen years now and have written ten thousand pages here.
In September 2016 he spoke in more detail about his routine on his Instagram account …
I’ll try to write 1500 words on a new novella (the last in a book of four), working longhand in an oversize National Brand account book. If it goes badly, I’ll accept 1000 words and hope for better tomorrow.
When I’m done (1 PM? 2?) I’ll have a salad and read forty pages of A MAN LIES DREAMING, the current book (starring Adolf Hitler, PI, no, really). The afternoon is for office chores and email. If I can I’ll write a snail mail letter to a friend. Because I like doing that. At some point I’ll also listen to a chapter of the current audio book (PRINCE CASPIAN). Over the course of the day I’ll have four cups of tea. Three black, no cream, no sugar. The last is green and has honey and lemon. It all sounds very exciting, doesn’t it? Living life on the edge, that’s me. I’d like to be more physical but haven’t been on any kind of regular exercise schedule since before THE FIREMAN book tour. Hummmm. I also started playing piano this year for the first time since I was 13, and come evening I like to practice for a half hour. But I won’t today cos one of my fingers is f’d up. Maybe I’ll have an episode of THE AMERICANS. Then it’ll be 10PM and I’ll go to bed, like an old person. Shit. I think I’m an old person. But that’s how the stories get written and this particularly quiet set of habits seems to suit me.
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