Letters: For writer's block, read lazy ...

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The Independent Online
BLAKE MORRISON sneers at authors who produce novels at a rapid rate ("They just can't stop it", 24 January). No doubt he agrees with the critics who kept down Anthony Trollope's reputation for a century after his autobiography revealed that he wrote a set amount of pages every morning before going to work. Ernest Hemingway was shown in a 1954 interview with the Paris Review to keep a chart on the wall of how many words he had written each day, which was never fewer than 400. Such a rate would be enough to produce two novels a year.

I write a double-spaced page every evening after coming home from a full- time job. This is an average of 250 words a day, more than sufficient for a book a year. The reason I don't turn out a novel every year is writer's laziness, not the mythical writer's block.


Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk