MaxBarry.com
he writes books

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Mon 18
Jan
2016

Stages of Creative Laziness

Writing

hey buddy are you workin on anything new? i’m on the toilet right now at work and can think of no one i’d rather have in here with me.

davem

Thanks, Dave. I appreciate it. Later, when I answer my own call of nature, I will think of you, too.

Yes, I’m always working on something new. The funny thing about novels is the enormous lag time to publication. I cycle like this:

Stage 1: New novel is not working and everything is terrible. But my previous one was just published so people think I’m industrious and productive.

Stage 2: Several abandoned creative detours later, I’m still struggling to animate the stitched-together corpse of the new book. But the previous book is coming out in paperback so there’s still no pressure.

Stage 3: BWAHAHAHA. It’s alive. Progress is made. People ask me when the new book will be out because it’s been a while, dude.

Stage 4: OH MY GOD MAX WHERE IS YOUR NEW BOOK. I have a first draft, so am tempted to say, “Oh it’s basically done,” even though I know in reality there is a year of rewrites looming.

Stage 5: It has a publication date, so I can point to that. This is my laziest time creatively because it’s so tempting to polish up the thing that’s already fully formed, or work on its promotion, rather than pick up the shovel and head down to the cemetery to start sifting through body parts for the next book. And I can totally get away with it because no-one will say, “Hey, Max, I know the new book isn’t even out yet, but it’s time to start collecting body parts.”

Comments

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Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "You can't sell your soul to the devil if he's not buying"
Posted: 1094 days ago

By body parts I assume you mean in the sense of Stephen King's Pet Cemetery. Less dramatic, there's always the tip. Can't find a well fitting leg? Use a wheel instead. Can't find a head? Try a mini-fridge. Helpful, I know.

Machine Man subscriber M.I.Minter (#347)

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Quote: "When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Posted: 1083 days ago

well.....not "no one". Maybe no one of consequence.

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