Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

A writer’s routine: Honoré de Balzac

with 3 comments

All writers have heard somewhere or other that Balzac had a horrendous routine. Two weeks to two months were spent on a book. During this time he went to bed after eight after a light dinner with white wine; he awoke and was back at his desk by 2 A.M., where he then wrote until six, drinking coffee from a pot kept permanently on the stove. At six he took a bath for an hour, than drank more coffee until his publisher came with proofs and took away corrected ones from the day before and new manuscript pages. From nine until twelve he wrote again, then breakfasted on eggs and more coffee. From one until six he worked at corrections.

When a book was done he then saw friends or mistresses, or disappeared from sight.

Hallie and Whit Burnett, Fiction Writer’s Handbook

Written by nevalalee

May 21, 2011 at 7:36 am

3 Responses

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  1. “after a light dinner with white wine”

    Martha would be proud.


    May 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

  2. Autobiographical I’m sure.


    May 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

  3. Lars…

    “Now he has been censored. Melancholia is still part of the official competition for the Palme d’Or, but if it wins, he won’t be allowed to collect it. He has somehow managed to get Cannes — in a year when it was showcasing its reputation as a festival that protects freedom of expression — to do what it says it is against. He has managed to make the festival shut him out…”

    Yes, I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    If you can’t do it there, where can you do it?


    May 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm

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