As I reclaim my writing life, I’m happily (vicariously) immersing myself into other writer’s lives. For one thing, I’m a subscriber to Australian writer Charlotte Wood’s very excellent “The Writer’s Room Interviews” series. This month’s new interview, with Sydney writer Malcolm Knox, is as thoughtful and stimulating as the rest.
I particularly enjoy reading about how other writers construct a writing life. Wood asks Knox, “When you’ve had a good day’s writing, what has happened on the page, or in you, to make it good?” Here’s his answer:
“Just that I’ve done it, first of all. Nearly every day when I’ve done it, it feels like it was a good day. It’ll then be a really good day if I go back and read what I’ve done that day and think, ‘Oh, that worked.’ That’s a really good day.
“The initial really good day is just knowing you’ve been immersing yourself in, swimming in this river. It’s the river that was flowing past you, the river that all those great books belonged to, even bad books that you liked belong to it and from when you jumped in, that felt good.
“When I come out of that room and I’ve been writing for five hours and haven’t noticed the time passing and all of a sudden it’s three o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t had any lunch and I’m not even hungry — that’s just great. It is like being in your element. It’s an even better feeling on the days you go back and read it and you think, ‘That bit worked.'”