Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

The Long and the Short of Writing

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

The Long and the Short of Writing

Article excerpt

WHEN I get writer's block I think about a conversation Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen had in a bar one night.

The story goes that Cohen asked Dylan how long it took to write one of his most famous songs, Like a Rolling Stone.

"About 15 minutes," Dylan is purported to have said.

Cohen nearly fell off his chair.

Dylan asked Cohen how long it took him to write his most famous song, Hallelujah.

"About four years," Cohen said.

It was Dylan's turn to nearly fall of his chair.

I like the story.

To me it proves that the creative process works differently for different people.

I am envious of those who find it automatic.

It takes them as long to write some things as it does to think it up.

For me it can be a painstaking process - like trying to squeeze the last drops of juice from a shrivelled-up lemon.

Leonard must have been a lemon squeezer also.

But it doesn't matter how long it takes to create something, it's the end product that counts. …

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