I'm binge reading Tim Winton at the moment, catching up on the early novels and short story before I settle into Eyrie, published this week. I love the way in his short stories he packs a novel's worth into a few pages, looks at the places we might rather turn away from but somehow reveals the humanity there. The prose is so clean, he makes it seem effortless. But, far from it, apparently. I was interested to read this a recent interview.
Winton on optimism:
"It's a discipline that you adopt because the alternative is despair. In order to get through the day you have to manufacture optimism in the same way that [if you are] a sports person or an artist you have to manufacture confidence. You are not somehow gifted with confidence - I'm not, maybe other people are - you have to manufacture enough confidence to get through a work of art, to finish a book.''
A reminder that doubts about your writing may never never go away - Winton has published 25 books. On the long haul of a novel, you may well fall out of love with your project, even come to resent it. Is it the material you are sick of? Maybe you just need to manufacture a dose of optimism, a la Winton.
The quote is from The Sydney Morning Herald, read the full interview, here.