"But I find writing very nervous work. I’m always in a dither when starting a novel–that’s the worst time. It’s like going to the dentist, because you do make a kind of appointment with yourself. And this is one of the things that you realize it’s got to be… next week. Not today–but if you don’t sit down by the end of next week, it’ll go off the boil slightly. Well, it can’t be next Wednesday, because somebody from The Paris Review is coming to interview you, so it had better be Thursday. And then, quaking, you sit down at the typewriter. And that’s when a glass of Scotch can be very useful as a sort of artistic icebreaker… artificial infusion of a little bit of confidence which is necessary in order to begin at all. And then each day’s sitting down is still rather tense, though the tension goes away as the novel progresses, and when the end is even distantly in sight, the strain becomes small, though it’s always there. So alcohol in moderate amounts and at a fairly leisurely speed is valuable to me–at least I think so. It could be that I could have written better without it… but it could also be true that I’d have written far less without it."

–Kingsley Amis, in a Paris Review interview (1975)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation,, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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One Response to Commonplace

  1. La Bella says:

    a complete reflection of your heart.
    you are doing such a great job – plugging along and writing like a dedicated worker bee. can’t wait to see what develops.

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