Friday, August 20, 2010


I am perhaps the most bad tempered person in the world when I am writing. I HATE to be interrupted. I lock myself in my study at 6am with my coffee and won't emerge again until lunchtime. Then it's a sullen half hour at the dinner table - like refuelling at the gas station - and straight back to work.

Writing a book is the most focused and concentrated thing I do in my life. If someone comes to the door, I will growl at them from my first floor window. "Whadya want?" If it's Jehovah's Witnesses, like today, they will get short shrift (in French, of course).

A little later a neighbour came bearing a bowl of ripe plums from her garden and left them at the door, hurrying off in case she got on the receiving end of my ire (villagers know by now to give me a wide berth).

If the phone rings I refuse to answer it.

If I go for a walk in the early afternoon (which I often do to gather my thoughts for the final thousand words) I hate to be engaged in conversation. And yet everyone I meet wants to stop and talk. I want to say: DON'T TALK TO ME, DON'T YOU KNOW I'M WRITING!?

Instead I lower my head wave my stick in the air, mutter "Bonjour", and hurry on. Which is probably just as rude.

I refuse all invitations to dinner and other social events, and my friends think they've done something wrong, or offended me in some way. I won't cut the grass or reply to emails, and the administration of my life piles up around me in drifts. I refuse to see my accountant, or pay that speeding fine, or drive to the tax office to get a double taxation form signed for Italian royalties.

I am, in other words, horribly anti-social, while totally neglecting all other responsibilities. I just want the world to go away, because doesn't everybody know....



DJ Kirkby said...

I do/ want to do all this too. I thought i was being odd but it's nice to know I'm just being normal for a writer.

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