There’s no such thing as writer’s block

Those in Peril by Wilbur SmithThis weekend, I had an opportunity to attend a book launch by of one of my favorite authors – Wilbur Smith, who was in India to launch his latest book Those In Peril.

The author related a number of interesting experiences from his visit to India, including the fact that he loves the traffic! Baffling, isn’t it? Until he delivered his next line: It is just like a video game; except here, if you lose, you die.”

Having visited the country numerous times, he says he thinks India as “almost a neighbor, with just a little sea between us!” When asked if he would set one of his books in the country, he referred to The Quest, one of his ancient Egyptian novels, in which his character Taita visits India to gain knowledge and wisdom. However, to weave a love affair with the country in print, the way he does with Africa, he says he’d have to “spend a lot of time here, at least 50 years, but I fear I’m running out of time”. That just explains how much research he undertakes for all of his novels.

Best selling novelist Wilbur Smith signs The Q...

Wilbur Smith signing copies of his books for fans Image via Wikipedia

Remember those bushmen that feature so prominently in some of his novels? He wrote  them in after meeting them briefly during an excursion in the African jungle.

In answer to a question about how he manages to write so many novels (33 and counting) and if he’s ever faced writer’s block, he said that a writer’s life requires a lot of discipline as it’s easy to get distracted and do inconsequential things around the house. As for writer’s block, he said: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. If someone says they’re suffering from writer’s block, it’s most likely cowardice.”

Very true, isn’t it? And it applies to most situations in life where we feel blocked – more often that not, we’re just scared of the unknown.

All-in-all, it was a lovely evening, spent listening to the anecdotes of an author whose fans span generations!

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14 responses to “There’s no such thing as writer’s block

  1. Wilbur Smith is a favourite author of mine. His writing is addictive! I don’t have this book – guess which one I will be ordering ? :)

  2. I never read any of his books, but I am very intrigued right now. I think I would enjoy his writing very much….and how true about writer’s block.

  3. I’m curious to know more about him! How did you run across his books?

    • While browsing through the bookstore! I tend to read the back covers and skim through a few pages when buying books – introduces me to a lot of wonderful authors and excellent books. Of course, there are chances of slipping up, but those are rare compared to some gems I uncovered just by browsing without knowing anything about an author or a novel.

  4. I would love to be there for my favorite author. However, I probably would be escorted out for being the crazy lady. To me it is my ultimate goal in life to meet her and tell her I loves her probably scream then run away. I may not be the most mature person but she would damn well know I am her biggest fan! LOL

  5. “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. If someone says they’re suffering from writer’s block, it’s most likely cowardice.”

    WOW! As a writer that was very profound! Next time I feel myself suffering from what I THINK is writers block I’m going to ask myself “What am I afraid to say?” wonder if that will break pass my blockage.

    Glad you had a good evening.

  6. I haven’t read any of his books— but I am interested now!!!! He sounds like a character!

  7. Sounds like a great evening. And some sage advice!

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