Interview with J.M. Coetzee


J.M. Coetzee is a South African novelist and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. Coetzee has also received the esteemed Booker Prize twice.

In regards to the question of his favored writing environment and habits, Coetzee – in a rare glimpse of intimacy – revealed the following advice to our high school’s budding writers:

The writing routine of a man of 74 who has no commitments except to his writing can’t be the same as the routine of a busy school student.
The one piece of advice I can offer is to maintain daily contact with the project you are working on, until it is either completed or abandoned. If you don’t, it will begin to die away from you like a child that is not fed.
Maintaining contact can consist of as little as sitting at the keyboard and reading with an attentive eye what you wrote the previous day.


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