Tolstoy on Writing


Tolstoy wrote every day for a few hours, retiring to his room to do so.  He wrote whether or not he was in the mood.  He used to say that inspiration came with writing. Apparently, the work of writing novels felt like hard labour to him.  “You cannot conceive,” he wrote to a friend of his, “how hard is this preliminary labour of ploughing the field in which I am compelled to sow. To consider and reconsider all that may happen to all the characters beforehand, and to think over the millions of possible combinations, and to choose one out of a hundred thousand, is very difficult.”