Tag Archives: Routine Matters

I, Writer #14 … Routine thoughts at 3 a.m.

I, Writer #14 … Routine thoughts at 3 a.m.




I, Writer … # 12

I, Writer … # 12




Elie Wiesel …

Elie Wiesel …


Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel (September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

Elie Wiesel Buchenwald Concentration Camp Holocaust Survivor

Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, at which time the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a “messenger to mankind,” stating that through his struggle to come to terms with “his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler’s death camps”, as well as his “practical work in the cause of peace”, Wiesel had delivered a message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” to humanity.


In a 1978 interview for the Paris Review Art of Fiction series he talked a little about his writing routine …

Is it a struggle to get up each morning to write about something you would prefer not to write about?

It depends. I don’t have many examples of writing about the Holocaust because I haven’t written that much about it. But there is never a struggle in the morning. It’s a pleasant agony. I am myself only when I work. I work for four hours without interruption. Then I stop for my studies. But these four hours are really mine. It is a struggle when I have to cut. I reduce nine hundred pages to one hundred sixty pages. I also enjoy cutting. I do it with a masochistic pleasure although even when you cut, you don’t. Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain. There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred pages are there. Only you don’t see them.


I, Writer … # 6

I, Writer

( My continuing journey towards Full-timeness )

# 6 … in which I get to eat cake!



I have just emerged head-first from a bookwormhole. I would like to say that I performed this particular manoeuvre with a perfect parachute roll. Unfortunately I have landed arse-over-tit in a most undignified heap.

I clamber to my feet and dust myself down. This seems a very strange place. Surely this can’t be Full-timeness. I am in a room. The Room is full of books. Piles of books. All sorts.


I suddenly realise that I’m feeling a bit peckish. That’s what happens when you stand next to a pile of cookery books.


Fortunately, the floor is covered with cakes. Yes, cakes. Lots of lovely little cakes with books on. This is good.


I venture an exploratory nibble. Very good. I stuff a whole one into my mouth. Then another. And another. It’s the sort of thing any respectable person must do. Eat cakes.

Then a familiar voice  asks me a question …

Why are you eating bookworm droppings ?


It’s not the sort of question that generally occurs in everyday conversation. I consider my reply carefully. A measured response is clearly called for. So I give it my best shot.


I’ve never been one to be over critical. I was just wondering why you’re stuffing bookworm turds down your throat like there’s no tomorrow.

You mean I’ve been eating bookworm shit. I think I’m probably about to throw up.

Hi. Is my brother bothering you again ?



He says that I’ve been consuming …  literary crap.

He’s kidding. He tries the same old joke on everyone.
They really are cakes.

Right. Well, in that case I’ll have a few more while you tell me exactly where we are.


And so, with a mouthful of cake, the truth is revealed to me.


Routine Matters …

Routine Matters …


Here’s to you …

Here’s to you …


 And something to remember …



My Back Pages … # 3

My Back Pages … # 3


This week My Back Pages returns to September 2013 and a post  about the late great author Iain Banks. 

Iain Banks (1954-2013)

Iain Banks (1954 – 2013)