Yann Martel’s Writing Habits

I am a great admirer of Yann Martel and his mastery of words.  He has a way of making his stories light and accessible.  His stories seem to me like deceptively child-like fables which most effectively contain powerful messages about life. To write “The Life of Pi” he took 4 years including research on zoos and time spent in India.  In an interview he talks about his routine and it’s comforting to me that he is in no rush and that a half a page a day is a good writing day for him. It comforts me because I often pay quite a bit of attention to the small quantity I produce and feel discouraged that I am unable to produce more in terms of content.  What Martel has shared makes me feel that writers should focus more on the quality and joy of art, rather than anxiety over production and quantity.

I have no particular routine. When I’m actually writing, as opposed to researching, I sort of write all day, in a quite inefficient way, mind you, but all day. Which doesn’t mean that I write much. A good day will mean half a page. But I’m in no rush, so I don’t mind my slow pace.

In another interview he again mentions the slow process of writing:

GR: Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?

YM: I write at any time of day in any place, so long as it’s quiet and I can set up my computer. I’m a slow writer, given to playing Spider Solitaire when stuck. Otherwise, my writing habits are blindingly boring. I just sit down at the computer and write.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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