I’ll cop right here to being a mad Nick Hornby fan (his book High Fidelity became an awfully good John Cusack movie, and it’s possible it helped at least one forty-something writer make a life-altering decision about family and commitment).
And A Long Way Down was that rarest of multi-perspective books (one that made sense to the reader), and I regularly curse myself for not having read Juliet, Naked yet.
The new “The Talks” interview site talks to Hornby about writing and his work, where he makes a potent observation about confidence and writer’s block:
Do you sometimes feel pressure that your next book has to be better than the one you wrote before?
I think that writer’s block is a matter of confidence. I think that the daily struggle of a writer is to keep up one’s confidence, because you lose a sense of perspective, especially if you’re working on a longer project where you cannot show anybody anything for quite some time. It’s only you telling yourself that maybe somebody will want to read this. I haven’t been “blocked” but I certainly understand how it happens and why it happens.
When starting a new copywriting project, I sometimes feel I’m competing with every other ad/blog post/email program extant, which is a good recipe for freezing yourself solid.
Not the best place to start.
Hornby is on my list of Five Writers I’d Really Like to Share a Beer With (that list is a work in progress), and while he might not make yours, you can probably still spare a minute to read the interview.