If you want ground-breaking, brilliant fiction, here’s Lavie Tidhar
We first almost met when I was living in Fiji and he was living in Vanuatu. Sadly, the day he was in my neck of the woods I was flying back to Sydney, so I left him a pile of books to pick up and that was as close as we got. As tough as it was to get books in Fiji, it was harder in Vanuatu.
I love the way Lavie thinks and was curious to get a little insight into that brain of his.
“When I get stuck it’s not because I’m out of ideas, it’s because my subconscious is telling me I need to step back for a while. The best cure I found for that is to go out for drinks! Really I feel so tame in comparison to legendary writers – I was reading a book recently on the stuff people got up to in Hollywood’s golden age and it’s just shocking how much fun they seemed to have. You become a writer in the hope of 1) never leaving the house and 2) never having to meet people, so it’s good to get out every now and then, mostly because then you’re grateful to be back in hiding for a while.
Really, I’ve come to recognise when I just need to stop. It’s not even anything special you need to do, you just need to leave things alone and sooner or later the solution comes. The mind needs to be engaged with something else. Because I’m a bit of a magpie writer, though, if I’m stuck on one thing I just switch to something else. I’m writing 2 novels at the moment for instance, which makes it easier. If I get stuck on both, I’ll just do a short story.
Once in a while you reach maximum brain freeze, which is when you really, really, need a holiday. Ideally somewhere with a pool. And a cocktail bar. And lots of books. I remember I used to read books. Now I only get to read them on my phone, if I get a bus or a train. I long for long-haul flights.
But the best thing I’ve ever found is to simply find something new to get angry about. To be angry at something, to care enough about something that you can do nothing else but sit down and write about it, try to transform it into art, rail against the things that get to you – this is why I write. Without anger I’d never have written A Man Lies Dreaming, or Osama, or just about anything else. I’ll only get worried if I’m ever indifferent, but luckily, the world’s not running out of things to be angry about any time soon…
And if all else fails, watch Australian television!
It’s my guilty little secret. Underbelly, Old School, Jack Irish… Bikie Wars! My secret dream is to write a movie starring Damian Walshe-Howling and Aaron Fa’aoso. When I get stuck writing novels, I just work on that movie. Maybe you think I’m joking – but I’m not…”