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BSAG On Creativity

The mysterious long-time blogger known only as ‘But She’s A Girl’ has some wise thoughts on how her creative process is affected by deadlines:

What I need to remember is that it is always like this. Deadlines are a fact of life and I just have to deal with them when they come up, but the pressure they impose is temporarily disastrous for my creativity. This means that I need to have solved any problems relating to the task which require creative thought long before the suffocating fog of the deadline descends. It’s also why I sometimes go quiet on this blog for weeks at a time. It’s not that I don’t have time to write here, but more that I don’t have the mental space to play around with ideas.

Winter’s Writing

David Mitchell (the novelist, not the comedian) on Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller, which is a book I love:

I’ve never understood why writers who write on writing get charged with creative onanism when artists are allowed to paint themselves until the Rembrandts come home or a work like Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra - music about music, right? - is fine with everyone

It’s a fair point. There’s nothing wrong with a writer writing about a writer. I think the practice gets criticised because it became so common in literary fiction as to be a cliche.

The article also contains the revelation that Cloud Atlas was at least partly inspired by Calvino’s novel.