John Irving’s Creative Schedule
John Irving is the author of twelve books, including “The World According to Garp,” “A Prayer For Owen Meany,” and most recently, “Last Night on Twisted River.” Over his career he has won a National Book Award, an Academy Award for his adaptation of “The Cider House Rules,” and many other honors, and has been translated into over thirty languages. A former competitive wrestler, he splits his time between Vermont and Montreal.
Question: What is your writing schedule?
John Irving: Well, when I'm not interrupted by traveling, or school holidays for children--those kinds of things--I get up pretty early. I feed the dog, I'm usually at my desk, [by] you know, 7:30, 8:00 in the morning and I work for eight or nine hours a day and I work seven days a week. But there are a lot of interruptions. I have three children, I have four grandchildren, I travel a lot. So I can't say that I work, you know, seven or eight hours a day seven days a week every week, but when I'm left to my own choices, that's what I do.
Question: How often do you change the events once you start writing?
John Irving: Very, very little. Sometimes in the middle of the story, there are things that can be moved around. The beginning doesn't change much, the ending never changes, but sometimes in the middle of the story, an event that I had imagined might be in the vicinity of the fifth or sixth chapter will actually end up being in the eighth or ninth chapter. So, I take a little bit more liberty with the chronology of events, the order in which I'm going to tell the reader certain things, I take more liberties with those things in the middle of the story, but they don't change, it's just their placement that moves sometimes.
Recorded on: October 30, 2009
When not interrupted by family and travel, the writer begins his work early, keeps at it for hours at a time, and does it every day.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
- Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
- Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.