I’m (supposed to be) in full revision mode for The Things That Death Will Buy, so this article about procrastination seemed particularly a propos.
Of all the afflictions of the old school, surely the most entrenched and significant was procrastination. Anyone can procrastinate, of course – anyone with a tendency to perfectionism and a horror of imagined drudgery – but writers have had a special relationship with it. (…) Procrastinators are particularly tortured by people who don’t delay. Scott Fitzgerald, in Paris in the 1920s, had an endlessly hard time getting down to work, as his friend and rival Hemingway described: “He was always trying to work. Each day he would try and fail. He laid the failure to Paris, the town best organised for a writer to write in that there is.” While Fitzgerald was pacing from brasserie to brasserie, he knew all too well that Hemingway was scribbling away in his room on the Rue Cardinal Lemoine. He’d do anything to distract him, so the story goes, shouting up at his window and asking how the work was going, trying to lure him down for drinks.
Link via Sarah.