Arts

How Novelists Stay Busy When They Aren’t Writing

People walk along Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
People walk along Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Credit Felipe Dana / Associated Press

When novelist Joshilyn Jackson finally turned her book “Origin Story” in to her publisher she could see relaxing summer days right around the corner.

“I had this giddy, high week of prancing about being generally disgusting and full of myself,” Jackson admits.

In this installment of “Writer to Reader” Jackson discusses all the activities she can now take part in during this period between novels, from cooking “veggie forward” to catching up with friends. Jackson also shares her plans for the next novel that she was going to start writing in the fall, plans that did not last long.

“I was rocking all my goals for almost a week, at which point I woke up at five in the morning, crept downstairs with my laptop and started writing the new book,” Jackson says, attributing this behavior to a condition known as “hypergraphia” or the impulse to write things down.

“I couldn’t help myself,” Jackson says, “my brain started feeling itchy. I couldn’t not write.”

And so, with fall still months away, Jackson has already begun looking ahead to her next novel. When her husband found out she was writing again after just a week off, she could only quote Franz Kafka in response, “A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

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