Papa on work routines

Could you say something of this process? When do you work? Do you keep to a strict schedule?

When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and you know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.

The Paris Review, Issue 18, 1958

From Daily Routines, a site that describes how “writers, artists and other interesting people organize their days.”

You seldom hear Hemingway mentioned anymore, and who ever confesses to loving him? Yet I have always loved — I can swim in it, rub it on me, immerse my brain in as if it were music or water — most of this passage from Hemingway’s justly famed interview in Paris Review. The second sentence especially is just perfect — perfect language, and perfectly Hemingway. It’s as good as the the first or the last sentence of A Farewell to Arms, which are two of the singingest sentences in print.

The interviewer, btw, is George Plimpton, who gets pie in his face several times during their conversation, which is — like this very passage — full of great writing wisdom layered around loads of Heming-hooey.

But really — “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write” — that’s music, and I can just about weep reading it.

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Ernest Hemingway, George Plimpton, LIterature, Writing