Sunday, July 22, 2012

Writing Fast

“I write fast because I have not the brains to write slow.”

His name was Georges Simenon. He’s best known for two things. He wrote a series of 75 Inspector Maigret novels featuring Paris police superintendent Jules Maigret. And he wrote each his novels very quickly: usually in about a week and a half.

He was born in Liege, Belgium and quit school when he was 15. He published his first novel at 18, and in the next seven years wrote more than 150 novels and novellas. Over a career of 50 years, he wrote some 500 novels.

In a recent article in the New Yorker, Joan Acocella describes his writing practice: “Every morning, he sat down and completed his self-assigned daily quota of eighty typewritten pages. Then he would vomit, from the tension, and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing.”