Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for March 20th, 2016

The art of the effortless

with 2 comments

Willy Russell

You do have sleepless nights, but you don’t go on about it. In fact, there’s nothing better when you put a play on the stage than for the audience to think that anybody could do it—that the process is effortless…

Sometimes I spend days without adding a new syllable and sometimes I’m redoing previous work. If it’s a good day I’ll work steadily until I have a break for lunch and then it’s on till five or six o’clock. If there’s nothing I need to do at home I go back upstairs and work till about ten and then I switch off. I never drink alcohol or listen to music when I’m working because I think both those things seduce you into thinking that the feelings engendered by the wine or music are present in your work. I will keep this routine up until I’ve finished a piece of work. This might last for six months, but once the work is done then I can relax and go on holiday. I get terribly frustrated if I have to take a break with something unfinished.

Willy Russell, to Jim Mulligan

Written by nevalalee

March 20, 2016 at 7:30 am

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