My buddy author Gregg Hurwitz talks on his infrequently updated blog about the ordeal of proofing his galleys… and the difficulty juggling the various demands on a writer’s time. He mentions some advice he got from James Patterson Inc:
The exchange was simple:
JP: Do you write on the road?
GH: No, I can’t.
JP (with great gravity): Learn.
so I have. Now when I’m working on a rough draft, I won’t let anything
short of an emergency interrupt it. I write on planes, in hotel rooms,
in the car (no, not when I’m driving).
I write anywhere and everywhere. Writing for TV trained me to do that, particularly when you’re in production and jetting off to locations in Vancouver, Toronto, Orlando, New York, Boston or London, as I have done. I have no problem writing in a hotel room or on an airplane…and often had no choice if I was going to meet the shooting schedule. Great motivator, the shooting schedule.
That said, writing on an airplane… especially in coach class… took some getting used-to. In first class, there’s some space between you and your fellow passenger. In coach, they are looking right over your shoulder and at every word you type on screen. They can’t help themselves. It’s like a TV set. It’s very hard to write when a complete stranger is watching you do it, especially if what you’re writing involves sex or violence. I’ve had to learn to just tune out the stranger and go for it.